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NAAG Responds to OCC Proposed Financial Reform Regulations

Preemption of State Law and Exercise of State Enforcement Powers are Critical Concerns

For Immediate Release: June 28, 2011

Washington, DC---The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent comments yesterday signed by 48 state and territorial Attorneys General to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) over proposed regulations implementing the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Attorneys General have specific concerns about the preemption of state law and the exercise of state enforcement powers.

“Unfortunately, the OCC’s current proposal maintains the very same preemption rules that were rejected by Congress in Dodd-Frank and by the Supreme Court in Cuomo v. Clearing House Assn., L.L.C., 129 S. Ct. 2710 (2000). The OCC has not complied with the Congressional directive to thoroughly review its relationship with state law on a case-by-case basis, in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Barnett Bank v. Nelson, 517 U.S. 25 (1996), and the statutory language of Dodd-Frank. In our view, the OCC should demonstrate its compliance by withdrawing its preemption regulations completely,” the comments state.

“To comply with the new statutory directives on the preemption of state law, the OCC must review state financial laws on a case-by-case basis to determine whether those laws prevent or significantly interfere with national bank powers. The OCC should not rely on its former general preemption pronouncements, which were based on an improper standard and have been rejected by Congress. With respect to enforcement, we believe that state and federal regulators should work together and share their respective authority to protect consumers and to ensure a fair financial marketplace,” the comments conclude.

The entire NAAG letter can be read online: http://www.naag.org/sign-on_archive.php

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