Jelena McWilliams, President Trump’s nominee, was sworn in on June 5 for a five-year term as FDIC Chairman and a six-year term as a member of the FDIC Board of Directors. As a result, the FDIC is firmly in the hands of Republicans. Last month, Republicans also took firm control of the FTC.
As FDIC Chairman, Ms. McWilliams succeeds Martin Gruenberg, who was appointed Chairman by President Obama. Since his term as an FDIC Board member does not expire until the end of this year, Mr. Gruenberg remains an FDIC Board member. According to media reports, he has been recommended by Senator Chuck Schumer to serve as FDIC Vice Chairman, the position he held before his nomination as FDIC Chairman.
The other two current FDIC Board members are Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting and CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. The FDIC Act provides that the Comptroller and CFPB Director shall be Board members and that the three other members “shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, from among individuals who are citizens of the United States, 1 of whom shall have State bank supervisory experience.” The FDIC Act mandates that no more than three Board members may have the same party affiliation. Accordingly, President Trump must nominate a Democrat or Independent to fill the fifth seat.