Gruenberg future on FDIC Board? ‘Stay tuned’

The future on the board of the federal deposit insurer for the current chairman is unclear, according to remarks given by the chairman himself during a press conference about fourth-quarter and year-end 2017 bank performance.

Martin Gruenberg, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Board, told a reporter that he’s “still trying to figure that one out” regarding his tenure on the board until his term ends in November. “So stay tuned,” he said.

The situation for Gruenberg can be a bit confusing. As a member of the FDIC Board, he is serving a term that ends late this year. However, as chairman of the board (appointed for five years), he is serving a term that ran out in November 2017. He has remained in the position awaiting Senate confirmation of his successor. He has said in the past that, under the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, he has that right to do so.

Jelena McWilliams, a banking attorney, has been nominated by President Donald Trump to succeed Gruenberg as chairman of the five-member board. Three members of the board are appointed; the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Comptroller of the Currency also sit on the board in their capacities as leaders of those agencies.

The Senate Banking Committee has recommended to the Senate that McWilliams be confirmed, but no vote has been set for the full Senate to confirm the nomination.

But once McWilliams is confirmed (she has been nominated to take the seat currently held by Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig, whose term ends next month), Gruenberg can stay on the board until the term on that appointment ends (in November), or a successor is confirmed by the Senate.

For now, it seems, Gruenberg is keeping his plans to himself.

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