John Walsh, the former chief of staff to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), is now the acting Comptroller of the agency that supervises national banks.

Walsh became the acting comptroller on Sunday as John Dugan stepped down after completing a five-year term.

The acting comptroller said OCC faces many challenges as the banking system emerges from a severe recession and the agency has to implement the new financial regulatory reform bill, which transfers the Office of Thrift Supervision's functions to OCC.

"This is an important and challenging period in the 147-year history of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency," he said.

Walsh previously served as a Senate Banking Committee staffer and an economist at the Treasury Department.

Before joining OCC in 2005, he was executive director of a consulting firm that focused on international economics and monetary affairs.

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