ICBSD, State Community Banking Groups and ICBA Oppose Saule Omarova’s OCC Nomination

Academic Papers, Public Statements Highlight Professor’s Alarming Policy Positions

ICBSD, along with the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and 40 other ICBA-affiliated state community banking groups, expressed opposition to Cornell University law professor Saule Omarova’s nomination to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

In a letter to the Senate Banking Committee ahead of today’s nomination hearing, the groups cited Professor Omarova’s academic papers and public statements laying out policy positions that are alarming to community banks, including proposals to transfer private retail banking functions to the Federal Reserve and fully replace private bank deposits to “end banking as we know it.” Supporting the displacement of community banks and the end of the impartial provision of credit by competing financial institutions puts Professor Omarova well outside the bipartisan consensus, they wrote.

“Our opposition is based on a careful review of Professor Omarova’s record of published scholarship and public statements on the topic of American banking policy,” the groups wrote. “Her positions are alarming to community banks. Professor Omarova has advocated for government allocation of capital and credit through the transfer of private retail banking functions to the Federal Reserve, ‘fully replacing’ private bank deposits as a funding source and putting an ‘end to banking as we know it.’”

While Professor Omarova recognized that community banks perform the crucial function of extending credit to local small businesses and hardworking families, she did not retract her policy proposals. The committee will have to vote to approve Professor Omarova’s nomination before it heads to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.

The community banking groups will continue working with policymakers as Congress addresses Professor Omarova’s nomination. For more information, visit icba.org.