Trump names OCC's Otting as acting director of FHFA

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WASHINGTON — President Trump has named Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting as acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency beginning Jan. 6 after the end of the Director Mel Watt’s term.

“I am honored that President Trump has designated me to be acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency,” said Otting in a statement. “I look forward to serving in this additional role until a permanent director is confirmed and appointed to this important position.”

The White House intends to nominate Mark Calabria, the chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, to serve as the permanent FHFA director. Otting will serve in the role until Calabria is confirmed.

“I am honored that President Trump has designated me to be Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency,” said Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting. Bloomberg News

Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, the White House can either name one of Watt’s lieutenants as acting director, or appoint a temporary director which requires an acting director to have been previously confirmed by the Senate. It previously appointed Office and Management Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as acting director of CFPB under the reform act, a position he served until earlier this month when Kathy Kraninger was confirmed by the Senate.

“Successfully leading both the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the FHFA would not be possible without the quality staff and leadership at both agencies,” said Otting. “I look forward to continuing the vital work of the OCC to ensure the federal banking system operates in a safe, sound, and fair manner just as I look forward to leading the FHFA in its important roles overseeing the Federal Home Loan Bank System and conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Hannah Lang

Hannah Lang is a Washington-based reporter who writes about federal mortgage policy and the U.S. housing finance system for American Banker and National Mortgage News.

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