The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has agreed to field consumer complaints involving national banks that are misdirected and filed with state regulators by mistake."The burden should not be on consumers to know which agency regulates their financial institution," Comptroller John Dugan said. The referral procedures worked out with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors offer bank customers a "seamless system for ensuring that their complaints reach the right supervisory agency," the chief supervisor of national banks said. In a recent speech, Mr. Dugan urged community activists to refer complaints about national bank lending practices to the OCC's consumer assistance shop. It seems the comptroller is preparing to testify next year before the new House Financial Services Committee chairman, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. Rep. Frank recently told reporters that he plans to have an oversight hearing on the OCC's consumer protection record. "I will put a lot of pressure on national regulators that have pre-empted state consumer protection laws to demonstrate that they have a capacity to do consumer protection," he said.

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