June 18, 2024

President to Nominate Vice Chairman of F.D.I.C. to Lead It

The announcement is the administration’s first effort since last year to address the growing number of vacancies atop the agencies that regulate the financial industry. The White House still must submit more than half a dozen names to the Senate to fill other vacant top-level positions.

Mr. Gruenberg, a Democrat, has served as the agency’s vice chairman since 2005. He would replace Sheila C. Bair, who completes a five-year term as chairwoman in July. She has guided the F.D.I.C. to greater prominence and power through fierce advocacy for consumers and community banks.

Republicans have forced the withdrawal of Mr. Obama’s two most recent nominations for regulatory positions, but Mr. Gruenberg is viewed as a likely candidate to break that blockade. He worked for years as a Democratic staff member on the banking committee, which will consider his nomination, and maintains good personal relationships with members of both parties.

Senator Tim Johnson, the South Dakota Democrat who is chairman of the committee, issued a statement applauding the nomination and promising swift action.

“I am confident that his intellect and years of experience in financial services, including distinguished service on the staff of the Senate Banking Committee, will make him an outstanding chairman,” said Mr. Johnson. “It is vital that we have strong leaders in place at our financial regulators as we continue the economic recovery.”

The office of the ranking Republican, Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Gruenberg joined the F.D.I.C. after working for more than a decade as a senior counsel to former Senator Paul S. Sarbanes.

Mr. Gruenberg has since provided reliable support for Ms. Bair in her frequent clashes with other regulators, as the F.D.I.C. has pressed for increased consumer protections, stricter rules for large banks — and leniencies for the smaller state-chartered banks that the F.D.I.C. is charged with overseeing.

“Marty’s long tenure at the F.D.I.C. and significant expertise in financial services issues make him an outstanding selection for this position,” Ms. Bair said.

The White House still must fill three vacancies on the F.D.I.C.’s five-member board. Two of those seats are held by the heads of other regulatory agencies, the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. One is the vice chairman’s slot left open by Mr. Gruenberg.

Tradition dictates that the vice chairman not be a member of the president’s political party. Mr. Obama is considering a number of Republican candidates, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The White House also is considering the nomination of the F.D.I.C.’s other board member, Thomas J. Curry, to head the comptroller’s office, which regulates most of the nation’s large banks.

Mr. Curry, a political independent, is a former commissioner of banks in Massachusetts.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=977dc9ef9343673aae28fb02223068a9