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NR 2012-119
Contact: Bryan Hubbard
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OCC Chief Counsel Julie Williams Announces Retirement

WASHINGTON — Julie Williams, Chief Counsel of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, today announced she will step down on September 30, 2012 and plans to retire from federal service at the end of the year.

“In her 19 years at the OCC, her contributions to the agency and her role in the world of financial services regulation have been extraordinary,” said Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry.  “In my few months as Comptroller, Julie played an integral role in my transition and has played an indispensable role in my leadership team.”

During her career at the OCC, Ms. Williams twice served as acting Comptroller of the Currency, first from April 1998 through December 1998 and then October 2004 through August 2005.  She served as Chief Counsel for four different Comptrollers—Eugene A. Ludwig; John D. Hawke, Jr.; John C. Dugan; and Thomas J. Curry.

As acting Comptroller in 1998, Ms. Williams was an early advocate for the stronger bank privacy policies and more effective protections that are common today.  Her career at the OCC has included groundbreaking work ranging from bank interstate operations and bank powers to privacy rights to pioneering the theory, once thought radical, but now readily accepted and applied, that the Federal Trade Commission Act's ban on unfair and deceptive practices may be applied by the banking agencies to protect bank customers.  Nearly a decade ago, Ms. Williams pushed for taking a research-based approach to bank disclosures and using consumer testing to improve disclosures by asking in a speech why consumers got better disclosures on a bag of potato chips than when they engaged in what was likely most important financial transaction they would undertake—taking out a mortgage.

Since passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, Ms. Williams has led efforts within the OCC on Dodd-Frank projects.  She has participated in interagency efforts to coordinate and implement the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and has led the OCC legal team on OCC-specific implementation projects.  She also is currently overseeing efforts to consolidate rules for national banks and federal savings associations into a uniform, consistent, and modern set of standards that recognizes the challenges facing community banks and seeks to eliminate unnecessary regulatory burdens on both national banks and federal savings associations.

Ms. Williams’ retirement will follow 18 years as Chief Counsel at the OCC and a career in financial regulation that began in 1983 when she joined the Federal Home Loan Bank Board.   Her career included serving in a variety of roles at the Bank Board and then the Office of Thrift Supervision prior to joining the OCC in 1993.  Before coming to public service, she served as an attorney with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Kampelman in Washington, D.C., from 1975 to 1983.

While the OCC conducts its search for its next Chief Counsel, Deputy Chief Counsel Daniel P. Stipano will serve as acting Chief Counsel from October 1 through the end of the year and Deputy Chief Counsel Karen Solomon will serve from January 1 through March 31.

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  • Chief Counsel Julie Williams
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