Cuomo v. Clearing House: State Enforcement Against Federally Chartered Banks

Preparing for Limited Federal Preemption and Heightened State Consumer Protection Enforcement

Supreme Court rules in favor of State AG on June 29

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Course Materials

This seminar will analyze the Supreme Court’s ruling in Cuomo v. Clearing House and its impact on federally chartered financial institutions. The panel will outline best practices for banks and financial institutions to proceed under the new regime.


The Supreme Court’s June 29 decision in Cuomo v. The Clearing House Assoc. dealt a blow to federally chartered financial institutions by invalidating an Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regulation that preempted state enforcement of consumer protection laws.

This opinion, especially when combined with the Obama financial restructuring plan's emphasis on drastically scaling back federal preemption with respect to federally chartered institutions, marks a turning point against federal preemption of state consumer protection laws.

The ruling allows states to apply more stringent consumer protection laws than federal law and exposes financial institutions to new enforcement by state agencies. Will the change undermine the ability of institutions to provide uniform financial products and services on a multi-state basis?

Listen as our authoritative panel of banking attorneys discusses the impact of the Supreme Court's ruling and the future of federal preemption of state regulation of federally chartered institutions.



  1. Analysis of Supreme Court’s ruling
    1. Visitorial v. preemption of substantive state law
    2. Chevron administrative deference standard for OCC regulations
    3. Visitorial v. enforcement powers
  2. Impact of ruling on federally chartered financial institutions
    1. Investigations by state attorneys general
    2. State fair lending laws
    3. State unfair/deceptive practices laws
    4. Sub-prime lending
    5. Financial products and services
  3. Impact of administration’s proposed financial regulatory reform plan
    1. Consumer protection laws
    2. Future of federal preemption


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What steps should financial institutions take in light of the Supreme Court's ruling?
  • What limitation does the Cuomo ruling impose on the power of state attorneys general to enforce state banking laws?
  • How does the Obama financial restructuring plan's proposals for consumer protection interact with state consumer protection laws?


Howard N. Cayne
Howard N. Cayne

Arnold & Porter

He is widely recognized for his successful preemption challenges to state and local enforcement actions against...  |  Read More

Nancy L. Perkins
Nancy L. Perkins

Arnold & Porter

She has a diverse practice including litigation, legislative, and regulatory work involving financial institutions. Her...  |  Read More

Brian C. McCormally
Brian C. McCormally

Arnold & Porter

Prior to joining the firm in 2006, he served as Director of the Enforcement and Compliance Division of the OCC, and...  |  Read More

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