McWilliams Close to Leading FDIC

Posted January 24, 2018

FDIC Chair nominee, Ms. Jelena McWilliams will not be able to take over the agency until Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig leaves around April 2, 2018.

A White House official said the administration was required to nominate McWilliams for Hoenig's seat because he was filed as a Republican member of the FDIC Board. The law says that there can be a maximum of three members from the same party on the five-member Board. McWilliams is a Republican, along with Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney and Comptroller Joseph Otting. Once Hoenig’s term expires, McWilliams should be confirmed by the Senate and ready to head FDIC. Jelena is very aware of the ACH Network and has been quite supportive of private sector rulemaking from her days on the Senate Banking Committee.

This week, McWilliams sailed through the Senate Banking Committee hearing with little opposition. Highlights include:
  • Regulatory Reform Priorities – Several senators, including Chairman Crapo, questioned the nominees on initiatives they would first seek to address if confirmed.
McWilliams cited regulatory burdens on community banks, the de novo charter drought, international banking regulations, and bank cyber risks as issues she would prioritize at the FDIC. Additionally, McWilliams responded to Sen. Tester’s question on modernizing the community bank examination process by confirming her commitment to streamlining and synchronizing the bank examination process. McWilliams would use her position to eliminate duplicative requirements across regulatory agencies and enhance uniformity amongst prudential bank regulators in their approach to regulation and examination.   
  • De Novo Bank Charters – Referencing the recent drought in newly chartered banks, Sen. Toomey questioned McWilliams on steps she would take to reduce regulatory burdens on community banks to encourage greater de novo growth. 
McWilliams agreed that regulatory burden plays a key role in both discouraging new bank charters and encouraging consolidation within the community banking industry. If confirmed, McWilliams is committed to examining how capital and liquidity requirements and the Basel framework applies to community banks, citing her firsthand experience with institutions effected both directly and indirectly by these requirements while serving on the SBC’s staff.
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