Geithner Names New Head of OCC

U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner announced that John G. Walsh will become Acting Comptroller of the Currency when John Dugan leaves office on August 14.

Mr. Walsh currently serves as Chief of Staff and Public Affairs for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a position he has held since October 17, 2005. In that position, he has been engaged in all aspects of the OCC’s operations.

Mr. Walsh joined the OCC from the Group of 30, a consultative group that focuses on international economic and monetary affairs. He joined the Group in 1992, and became Executive Director in 1995. Mr. Walsh served on the Senate Banking Committee from 1986 to 1992 and as an International Economist for the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 1984 to 1986.

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Mr. Walsh’s experience in OCC management and the international arena made him a strong fit for his new role according to a treasury statement. “In particular, that experience will be critical as the OCC moves forward to implement the Dodd-Frank legislation and works to establish new international bank capital standards.”

He will replace Dugan who is well known in the reverse mortgage industry after saying the product could be the next subprime during an American Bankers Association Conference.  ”While reverse mortgages can provide real benefits, they also have some of the same characteristics as the riskiest types of subprime mortgages — and that should set off alarm bells,” he said.

Mr. Walsh holds a masters in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (1978), and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1973.

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