The White House nominee to be new Comptroller of the Currency said federal banking agencies need to work toward reassuring the public that robo-signings have stopped and foreclosure problems are being corrected.
"I think it is critically important that we work to restore credibility to that system," Thomas Curry told the Senate Banking Committee at his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.
"The greater transparency that the agencies can show in how failures in the system are being corrected and individuals harmed will find redress is critically important," he testified.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., has been calling on banking regulators to disclose the results of the foreclosure servicing reviews that are being conducted by private consultants hired by the banks.
The New Jersey senator pressed Curry, a former Massachusetts banking commissioner, to disclose the results of foreclosure reviews on a bank-by-bank basis.
"I think the agencies and the OCC, if I am confirmed, should work to be as transparent as possible, consistent with any governing supervisory or legal restrictions," he said. Curry is currently a director at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC).
FDIC vice chairman Martin Gruenberg, the President's pick to be the new FDIC chairman, told the committee the worst of the bank failures is over and Deposit Insurance Fund is no longer in the red.
"There are some positive signs," Gruenberg testified. "Although over 880 insured institutions remain on the FDIC's problem bank list, we believe that number may have peaked and may start coming down in the near future."
FDIC closed 157 failed banks last year. "We are projecting a substantially smaller number of bank failures," Gruenberg said. He noted only 58 banks have failed so far this year.
Since yearend 2007, the DIF has suffered $84 billion in losses due to bank failures. It had a $20.9 billion negative balance at yearend 2010. Thanks to special assessments on the banking industry, the Deposit Insurance Fund had a $1 billion negative balance at the end of March and turned positive in June, Gruenberg said.