Watters v. Wachovia Bank, N.A.
Operating subsidiaries of national banks sued the State of Michigan for a declaration that its anti-predatory lending law, which requires subsidiaries to register with the state and meet some basic requirements, is preempted by the National Bank Act. By its terms, the Act only preempts state laws that govern national banks themselves, but the Office of Comptroller of Currency, the federal agency that regulates banks, propounded a regulation that also preempts all state laws that would govern banks operating subsidiaries. Public Justice joined an amici brief arguing that the OCC regulations do not deserve deference because they are contrary to the language of the Act and the OCC’s budget depends on user fees from the banks it regulates.
Public Justice’s Paul Bland provided input on the brief.