With McWilliams Out, What’s Next

Although Friday was a federal holiday, FDIC Chair McWilliams chose then to announce her decision to resign effective February 4th.  This follows an acrimonious dispute with Democratic board members not only over their approach to bank mergers (see FSM Report MERGER9) but also the overall direction of bank regulation.  Although former FDIC Chairman Gruenberg now serves as an FDIC director on an expired term, he will surely assume the chair again pending the President’s decision about whether to appoint Mr. Gruenberg to another full term as chair, should he wish one, and then Senate action to confirm him or another nominee to head the agency.  There is currently no independent director on the FDIC board, which will now consist only of Mr. Gruenberg, Acting Comptroller Hsu, and CFPB Director Chopra.  Once the new chair is in place, the two open seats on the FDIC board will need to be filled by Republicans or independents.