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Office of Thrift Supervision gets acting director

John Bowman will run the S&L oversight agency while its chief, Scott Polakoff, is on leave pending an inquiry into backdating of a capital infusion at IndyMac Bank.

March 27, 2009|Bloomberg News

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner named John E. Bowman acting director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, which regulates the savings and loan industry.

Scott M. Polakoff, formerly acting director, is on leave, pending a review by the Treasury Department of the OTS' actions last year "related to post-period capital contributions," the agency said Thursday in an e-mailed statement. Bowman was deputy director and chief counsel at the OTS.

Former OTS director John Reich told Geithner in January that the agency let IndyMac Bank backdate a capital injection that helped the lender avoid regulatory restrictions.

The agency found four other cases of lenders failing to follow reporting policies, Reich wrote to Geithner and four U.S. lawmakers. Reich stepped down as OTS director Feb. 27, before his term ended.

Five OTS-regulated lenders failed last year, including Pasadena-based IndyMac and Seattle-based Washington Mutual Inc., the largest U.S. bank failure. The number of "problem thrifts" rose to 26 at the end of 2008 from 11 a year earlier, according to the agency's fourth-quarter report.

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