Industry News

No banks in real estate, OCC says

Comptroller of the Currency reassures NAR

The U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Thursday said he has no intention of expanding his agency's "limited authority" to breach the separation of banking and commerce. John C. Dugan, Comptroller of the Currency, made the statement following a meeting with representatives from the National Association of Realtors to discuss three recent interpretive letters from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The three December OCC rulings allowed three of the largest national banks in the nation to invest in the development of office buildings, hotels, residential condominiums and a windmill farm. Expressing concern over the OCC rulings, Thomas Stevens, the president of the National Association of Realtors, on Feb. 7 asked for a meeting with Treasury Secretary John Snow to discuss them. In a letter to Snow, Stevens said Realtors were "extremely concerned." Stevens also asked the OCC to reconsider the rulings. After Thursday's meeting with NAR representatives, Dugan said, "First, none o...