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As Crypto Comptroller Brooks Gifts Anchorage He Quits Early So Can Corrupted OCC Be Fixed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SOUTH BRONX, Jan 14 – In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and after the insurrection, crypto Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks on January 13 gave another quid pro quo gift, a bank charter to Anchorage, even as he quit with a week left in the Administration. Where might he land and get rewarded for all this?

 Meanwhile Inner City Press' requests under the Freedom of Information Act into Brooks' conflicts of interest in the fintech and crypto-currency world have yet to be fully answered.  Will Brooks be taking "his" documents with him?

  Brooks went whole hog with Anchorage, the so-called first crypto bank. It should be reversed - but will it be? Anchorage was represented by Dana Syracuse through the revolving door from the NYS Department of Financial Services.

Fair Finance Watch and others opposed and requested extensions on Figure, for which OCC has yet to answer Inner City Press' FOIA request, here.

On December 9, Brooks spoke at a Sinapore FinTech conference that charged for entrance. His Twitter profile gives equal space to CoinBase as the OCC. And what's next for him? Watch this site.

On July 13 Fair Finance Watch filed with the OCC, including this: "July 13, 2020
 Office of the Comptroller of the Currency  DC Comptroller Brooks and Mr. Lybarger, Deputy Comptroller for Licensing  & Northeastern District Office 
 Re: Timely First Comment on SoFi's reported application to the OCC to get into banking 

Dear Mr. Lybarger, Ms. Cummings and others in the OCC:  This is a timely first comment opposing and requesting an extension of the required OCC's public comment period on reported proposal by SoFi to get a national bank charter.  

    This is a major proposal, by a fintech in which SoftBank has a large stake. Yet, it is not yet on the OCC's website, where as of July 13 the most recent Weekly Bulletin cuts on on July 4. The only charter application listed as open for comment is Monzo Bank; the New Bank application link does not work. So, any comment period will have be be extended. This is a request for the complete application, all portions that the OCC after review does not find withholdable under FOIA. 

     Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch opposed SoFi's previous, suspended attempt to get into banking. Since then the questions have only grown.  

    For now, we note that Inner City Press asked the OCC's FOIA unit for a copy of Comptroller Brooks' conflict of interest list with fintechs but has yet to receive it. Pending receipt, we ask that Acting Comptroller Brooks be recused from this application and that you confirm this in writing.

      As to SoftBank, the dispute regarding another of its holdings, WeWork, portends the type of problems that regulators like the OCC are directed to keep out of, not invite into, the banking system.

     For the above reasons, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and restrictions, the comment period should not yet start or should extended, until in person public hearings can be held, and Comptroller Brooks' should be recused pending/and his conflict of interest list should be released."

And now on October 28, Brooks' OCC has rubber stamped the application, stating "The OCC received one comment related to the Proposed Bank’s plans for complying with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA, 12 USC 2901 et seq.), asserting, among other things, that the CRA plan included with the application only provides an outline of proposed activities without sufficient details. The OCC also received one other comment opposing approval of the charter application for reasons not related to the CRA and requesting an extension of the comment period. The CRA requires that the OCC take a national bank’s or federal savings association’s (bank) CRA record into account when evaluating an application for a deposit facility. 12  SoFi Bank, National Association, Cottonwood Heights, Utah (proposed) OCC Control Nos. 2020-WE-Charter-315294 and 2020-WE-Waiver-315536  2  USC 2903(a)(2). An application for a deposit facility is defined to mean, among other things, “a charter for a national bank or federal savings and loan association.” 12 USC 2902(3)(A). The CRA regulations require that “[a]n applicant... for a national bank charter must submit with its application a description of how it will meet its CRA objectives, if applicable.” 12 CFR 25.02(b). The Proposed Bank’s charter application included a CRA plan that provided an initial description of how it proposes to help meet the credit needs of its community. With regard to the commenter’s concerns about the sufficiency of the Proposed Bank’s CRA plan, the CRA requires the OCC to consider a proposed insured bank’s description of how it will meet the credit needs of its community in considering a charter application. 12 CFR 25.02(b). The OCC expects that organizers of a bank will begin to develop a CRA plan during the charter application phase; however, the OCC does not expect a bank to have a fully developed plan at this stage. The CRA plan should be finalized after a bank has received preliminary conditional approval from the OCC, but prior to final approval of the charter application. The Bank has demonstrated in its charter application and through discussions with OCC staff that it understands the requirements of the CRA and has begun to develop a CRA plan. The Bank is considering a strategic plan pursuant to 12 CFR 25.18, and the OCC will work with the Bank in the development of a strategic plan if this alternative is chosen." Rush job, rubber stamp. Watch this site. 


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