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Biden Should Remove FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams If She Refuses to Follow the Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – 22 organizations today called on President Joe Biden to remove Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Chair Jelena McWilliams if she continues to violate the agency’s statutes and bylaws that provide for majority rule. McWilliams has refused to allow publication in the Federal Register of a request authorized by three of the four board members for public input on the FDIC’s bank merger policy.

“Chair McWilliams has demonstrated that she is not fit to serve in this important role. Commandeering the moniker of the FDIC to voice her minority opinion and attempting to block the legal actions of the majority of the board constitute grave misconduct. We respectfully call on you, Mr. President, to remove the chair if she does not quickly relent,” the letter states.

By statute, the FDIC board has five seats, four of which are currently occupied. On Dec. 9, the majority of the board approved the RFI regarding the agency’s policy on bank mergers. According to public reports, approval of this request began Nov. 23, with a “circulation of written items,” as provided by the FDIC’s bylaws and closed on Dec. 7. Board members Rohit Chopra and Martin Gruenberg issued a joint statement announcing the RFI the afternoon of Dec. 9.

Subsequently, a statement was posted on the FDIC website disclaiming the RFI on the basis that it was not “approved by the FDIC” and “there was no valid vote by the Board.”  Public reports also state that McWilliams has stopped FDIC staff from transmitting the RFI for official publication.