The wisdom of state consumer credit regulations is not a factor in resolving federal banking preemption disputes. Nonetheless, the State of Michigan and its supporting amici have injected that issue into this case. But as both case law and economic research demonstrate, such measures can often backfire, hurting the very consumers that they are intended to protect by making credit more expensive and less available.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has the dual function of overseeing both national banks and the treatment that customers receive from those banks. Given the inherent relationship between these two functions, the OCC’s oversight is far more likely to produce a regulatory optimum than the approach advocated by the petitioner.