Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has called the comptroller of the currency's pre-emption proposals "ill-advised" and said he will sue, if necessary, to protect New Yorkers."Today's attempt by the OCC to immunize national banks from state consumer protection laws, including those applying to predatory lending, is shamefully wrong," Mr. Spitzer said. He said the new regulations by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency would not deter him from suing to protect New York consumers from deceptive or illegal conduct engaged in by national banks in New York. The OCC has finalized one proposal that pre-empts specific types of state laws that interfere with the lending activities and other powers of national banks and a second proposal that blocks state and local enforcement officials from auditing or investigating national banks and their mortgage subsidiaries. The American Bankers Association welcomed the OCC's action. But the Conference of State Bank Supervisors said they were "stunned" by the OCC's decision to finalize the rules, considering the concerns expressed by key members of Congress and state officials. "The arrogance and audacity of the comptroller's actions are astonishing," CSBS president Neil Milner said.

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