The National Association of Realtors expressed concern on Wednesday over the expansion of banking powers by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an agency within the Department of the Treasury.
NAR claims the OCC's rulings are inappropriately expanding congressionally established banksâ€™ authority, which is in turn forming new laws without public or congressional participation.
â€œThe OCCâ€™s actions set in motion a process that could result in dramatically increased risk to national banks and threaten the safety and soundness of the nationâ€™s banking system,â€ said NAR President, Thomas M. Stevens.
Last year in December, the OCC allowed national banks to enter real estate development transactions. This included the PNC Bank, which developed retail space, offices and a hotel. Bank of America developed a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, while the Union Bank of California bought equity interest in windmill farms. NAR highlighted that such OCC actions go against the National Bank Act which prohibits the mixing of banking and commerce.