Former, long-time FDIC veteran takes over at FHFA (after Biden removes predecessor in wake of Supreme Court decision)

A long-time staffer from the federal insurer of bank deposits is now the acting director of the regulator of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that buy most of the nation’s mortgages.

Sandra L. Thompson, a former 23-year employee of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (until 2013), is now the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). She had been deputy director of the agency’s division of housing mission and goals since 2013. The FHFA is the primary federal regulator of mortgage giants Fannie Me and Freddie Mac.

At the FDIC, according to a press release issued by the FHFA, Thompson was most recently director of the agency’s division of risk management supervision. Also while at the FDIC, the FHFA said, Thompson led the agency’s examination and enforcement program for risk management and consumer protection at the height of the financial crisis. She also led the FDIC’s outreach initiatives in response to a crisis of consumer confidence in the banking system, the FHFA said.

As deputy director at the FHFA since 2013, Thompson oversaw that agency’s housing and regulatory policy, capital policy, financial analysis, fair lending, and all mission activities for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks, the agency said.

Thompson replaces Mark Calabria at the FHFA job, who was effectively fired by President Joe Biden (D) Wednesday in the wake of a Supreme Court decision. That morning, the court announced a decision that overturned the agency’s structure, which held that the director could only be removed “for cause.” The court found that the president may fire the FHFA director at will.

That decision was announced in the morning; by the afternoon, Calabria was sending a note to all staff members at the agency bidding them farewell – and expressing congratulations and support for Thompson.

Sandra L. Thompson Announced as Acting Director of FHFA