Trump-Appointed McWilliams Resigns as Chair of Democrat-Majority FDIC Board

The Republican head of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), who clashed with the majority-Democratic board, said on Friday she will step down from her role effective Feb. 4, 2022,

The term of Jelena McWilliams, a holdover from the Trump administration who was appointed to the role in June 2018, had previously said she intended to serve out her full term, which was set to expire in mid-2023.

However, McWilliams is now outnumbered on the board by Democrats, which in recent weeks set off a messy public fight over who should set the board’s agenda.

The five-member FDIC board currently has three members appointed by Democrats: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra, FDIC board member Martin Gruenberg, and acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu. McWilliams is the lone Republican, and one position is currently vacant.

Gruenberg will serve as interim director. He previously ran the agency under President Barack Obama.

McWilliams’ unexpected resignation will hand control of the agency to Democrats, who are eager to take a tougher stance on banks.

“The agency has focused on maintaining and instilling confidence in our banking system while at the same time promoting innovation, strengthening financial inclusion, improving transparency, and supporting community banks and minority depository institutions,” McWilliams said in a statement. 

© 2021 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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