US President Biden announces pick for FDIC chair

Martin Gruenberg was the FDIC’s acting chair while the agency issued cease-and-desist orders to crypto firms and suggested that payment stablecoins merited further consideration.

United States President Joe Biden announced he would be nominating Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Acting Chair Martin Gruenberg to assume the position as part of a five-year term.

In a Nov. 14 announcement, President Biden said he intended to nominate Gruenberg, who has previously served as acting FDIC chair from 2005 to 2006, 2011 to 2012, and from February 2022 to the present. Gruenberg assumed the temporary position following the resignation of former Chair Jelena McWilliams.

According to FDIC regulations, a chairperson of the FDIC’s board of directors may serve for a term of five years following a nomination from the U.S. president and confirmation by the Senate. As the Democratic Party will retain majority control of the Senate following the midterm elections, President Biden may be able to see his pick go through without partisan obstructionism.

Shortly after assuming office in February, Gruenberg said one of his priorities for the FDIC in 2022 would be to evaluate the risks of cryptocurrencies:

“To the extent such activities can be conducted in a safe and sound manner, the agencies will need to provide robust guidance to the banking industry on the management of prudential and consumer protection risks raised by crypto-asset activities.”

Related: Senator asks FDIC about allegations it discourages bank relations with crypto companies

As acting chair, Gruenberg presided as the FDIC issued cease-and-desist letters in August to companies for allegedly making false representations about deposit insurance related to cryptocurrencies. In October, the acting head suggested that stablecoins used for payments merited further consideration by the FDIC.

Gruenberg will testify before the Senate Banking Committee on Nov. 15 and the House Financial Services Committee on Nov. 16 on the oversight of financial regulators in the United States.

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