NPR logo A Bank Regulator Fades Away


A Bank Regulator Fades Away

Signage is destiny. Anonymous hide caption

toggle caption

One of the nation's big bank regulators will soon cease to exist.

Tomorrow, the Office of Thrift Supervision will be folded into the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In October, OTS will be abolished altogether.

Last year's Dodd-Frank bill killed OTS. This was not terribly surprising, given that the agency was supposed to be overseeing Washington Mutual, AIG and Countrywide, among other firms.

Killing and renaming regulators is something of a Washington pastime. After the S&L crisis of the 1980s, lawmakers killed the Federal Home Loan Bank Board — and created the OTS in its place.

That largely consisted of taking down the signs that said "Federal Home Loan Board," and putting up signs that said "Office of Thrift Supervision." (For more on that, see our story from last year.)

As you can see from the photo above, the new sign below where the OTS sign used to be is for the Federal Housing Finance Agency — which lawmakers created in 2008 by merging the Federal Housing Finance Board and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.