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Rep. Cleaver Calls for Investigation Into Allegations of Misconduct at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Aug 6, 2020
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – This week, United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO), Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy, along with Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Consumer Protections and Financial Institutions, and Representative Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Chairwoman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity & Inclusion, are calling for an investigation into allegations of abuse of authority and violations of statutory responsibility at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) following reports of the agency scuttling multiple civil rights investigations.

In a letter to Department of Treasury Inspector General Richard Delmar and Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, the lawmakers wrote:

“These concerning patterns of circumventing policies and practices to the possible material detriment of female and minority borrowers is deeply disturbing. Such extreme departures in supervisory practices on civil rights matters necessitates a thorough and complete investigation. We request the Inspector General and GAO initiate an immediate, comprehensive and timely investigation into these allegations.”

According to a report from Pro Publica, the OCC has “shelved” at least six investigations into allegations of possible redlining and discrimination. In each case career officials at the OCC have uncovered discriminatory practices, which violated federal law and regulation, and provided recommendations of fines and/or other penalties only to be overruled by senior management to protect financial institutions.

“The substance and pervasiveness of these allegations are extremely concerning, and it’s important for the IG and GAO get to the bottom of what’s occurring at the OCC immediately,” said Congressman Cleaver. “We cannot allow discriminatory practices in financial institutions to go unchecked, and we certainly can’t allow the cops on the beat to look the other way when they encounter wrongdoing. I look forward to a comprehensive and timely report so that we can ensure the laws on the books are being enforced and consumers are working on a level playing field.”

You can find the official letter from the lawmakers here.

 

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Matt Helfant at 202-590-0175 or Matthew.Helfant@mail.house.gov A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.