Michael Hsu, acting comptroller of the currency, and Dr. Yue (Nina) Chen, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) newly appointed chief climate risk officer, visited Texas in mid-September to meet with OCC-regulated community bank leaders in Lubbock. Among other topics on the agenda, Hsu was focused on better understanding climate risk and its impact on community banks and their customers.
Chris L. Whigham, president and CEO of West Texas National Bank, and his leadership team also hosted a visit to Midland where the OCC team visited an active drilling rig and saw the inner workings of an oil and gas operator.
Christy Bussey, director of solutions and strategies for the Independent Bankers Association of Texas, joined the visit. “Acting Comptroller Hsu and Dr. Chen asked good questions and seemed genuinely interested in what the bank leaders, trade associations and energy company employees had to say,” Bussey says. “Overall, I believe they walked away with great insight into the economic impact of the energy industry.”
This was one of Chen’s initial visits in her new position, as her appointment to the OCC was announced on September 13. “We are fortunate to have someone with her background and experience in both finance and climate-related financial risk to lead the agency’s risk management work in this area,” Hsu notes. “She is an asset to an already strong and dedicated team of OCC staff focused on the safety and soundness of our banks and the financial system.”
Chen previously served as the inaugural executive deputy superintendent of the climate division at the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and was responsible for integrating climate-related financial risks into supervision of regulated entities. She also served as vice chair of the climate risk steering group at the International Association of Insurance Supervisors.
Before joining DFS, Chen served as the director of conservation investments at the Nature Conservancy. She has also held positions in asset management at Goldman Sachs and as vice president at Royal Bank of Canada Global Arbitrage and Trading.
Chen earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also holds a certificate in conservation and environmental sustainability from Columbia University.
Chen follows Jonathan Fink in this role, who assumed these duties in an acting capacity in March 2022 while also serving as senior advisor to the acting comptroller.