Geithner Appoints OTS Acting Director

The Office of Thrift Supervision announced Friday that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner appointed John E. Bowman, Deputy Director and Chief Counsel, to succeed Scott Polakoff as Acting Director of the OTS. Bowman joined the OTS in June 1999 as Deputy Chief Counsel for Business Transactions, heading the agency’s division that provides legal services related to corporate applications, acquisitions and financing transactions, securities filings and other related activities. He also oversaw OTS’s regional counsel and enforcement operations. Prior to joining the OTS, he was partner with the law firm of Brown & Wood LLP in Washington, DC, specializing in government and corporate finance, securities and financial services regulation. Before entering private practice, he served for 14 years at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, including seven years as the Assistant General Counsel for Banking and Finance. OTS Senior Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer Scott Polakoff, who was serving as Acting Director, was placed on leave pending a review by the Department of the Treasury of the OTS’s August 2008 actions related to backdating cash infusions for troubled thrifts. IndyMac Bancorp, along with the OTS, made headlines when the Treasury Department’s independent investigator revealed in December that the OTS allowed IndyMac Bancorp, formerly one of the nation’s largest Alt-A mortgage lenders, to backdate an $18 million capital infusion to maintain its status as a “well-capitalized” institution — hence, escaping regulatory restrictions — just two months before the bank’s collapse in July. The backdating matter also involved four other unnamed OTS-regulated institutions, according to a Reuters report. Write to Kelly Curran at Disclosure: The author held no relevant investment positions when this story was published. Indirect holdings may exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.

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