FDIC’s 2 Republican board members respond to reports of agency workplace misconduct

News reports of alleged workplace misconduct at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) were met Wednesday with statements – one issued jointly and another, independent statement – from the two Republican members of the FDIC Board.

The two board members, Vice Chairman Travis Hill and Director Jonathan McKernan, were nominated to their board seats by President Joe Biden (D). In their joint statement Wednesday, they said the alleged misconduct – reported earlier this week by The Wall Street Journal and raised in an oversight hearing by the House Financial Services Committee also Wednesday – “has no place at this agency or anywhere in the workforce and should not be tolerated.”

The statement continues, “As Board Members, we have an obligation to ensure that the FDIC holds all responsible employees and managers accountable for any inappropriate conduct. It is also critical that employees who have experienced any unprofessional conduct feel protected and have appropriate avenues to report misconduct.”

Board Director McKernan also issued his own statement urging four steps he wants the board to take in regard to the independent investigation reportedly initiated Tuesday by Chairman Martin Gruenberg. McKernan said the board should release victims from their confidentiality agreements; “figure out” why no perpetrator (allegedly) was fired (including one who allegedly texted nude photos to co–workers); expand the investigation to cover workplace culture; and “ensure the investigation is truly independent by forming a board committee to direct the outside law firm’s review.

No statements from any of the three Democrats on the FDIC Board, including Chairman Martin Gruenberg, had been announced as of press time.

Strip Clubs, Lewd Photos and a Boozy Hotel: The Toxic Atmosphere at Bank Regulator FDIC (The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 13, 2023)

Joint Statement by Vice Chairman Travis Hill and Director Jonathan McKernan on FDIC Workplace Culture

Statement by Jonathan McKernan, Director, FDIC Board of Directors, on the FDIC Workplace Culture