Trump’s Banking Sector Appointee Resigned Unexpectedly

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Jelena McWilliams, the chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), resigned unexpectedly on Friday, writing a letter to President Biden.

A few weeks ago, she warned about a “hostile takeover” of the agency.


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McWilliams resignation paved the way for a Democratic nominee

McWilliams was a Trump appointee; hence, the control of the FDIC was in the hands of the GOP.

However, her resignation, effective on February 4, will allow Martin Gruenberg, a board member of the FDIC, to replace McWilliams, paving the way for Democrats to fill the seat with a liberal appointee soon.

The rise of Gruenberg is likely to initiate some liberal policy measures from day one.

For instance, he is likely to push banks to prepare for the so-called risks posed by climate change. He is an Obama-era chair of the agency who has been serving the FDIC since 2005.

Due to the Democratic majority in the FDIC board, the board voted in favor of getting public feedback on the department’s bank merger process. When McWilliams did not take part in the vote, an FDIC official noted this action was not valid.

This prompted a debate of whether the FDIC board members can vote on any specific item when the chair has not agreed on it. Leftist board members believed they had the authority to do so.

McWilliams refused to add minutes of the vote to the FDIC’s official record, rejecting the request of Rohit Chopra, a board member and ally of Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Later on, McWilliams called all the events a “hostile takeover” of the agency in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. However, she did not mention the episode in her resignation letter to Biden.

McWilliams reminded Biden of her achievements

In her letter to the president, McWilliams wrote when she immigrated to the United States, she had a firm belief in the American system. So, she never took any day of her job for granted and tried to serve the country to the best of her abilities.

She counted the achievements of the agency during her tenure, noting the FDIC tried to win the confidence of Americans regarding the banking system of the country.

In addition to this, McWilliams also claimed she always supported innovation in the system by strengthening the financial inclusion framework of the country and making it as transparent as possible.

McWilliams reminded Biden about the creation of the Mission Driven Bank Fund, which she launched to support community banks in the country. 

She also served as a top aide to two different Republican senators, including Mike Crapo of Idaho and Richard Shelby of Alabama, before assuming the top seat of FDIC.

On top of this, McWilliams worked at Fifth Third Bank as a Chief Legal Officer.

Pat Toomey, a GOP senator and an ally of McWilliams, lambasted the Biden administration over the move, noting these sorts of measures can deteriorate the administrative framework of the country. 

As McWilliams was appointed by Trump in 2018, her term was to expire in 2023.