Biden nominates Gruenberg for full FDIC chairmanship

Quick Take

  • The White House has named current Acting FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg as its nominee to lead the banking regulator. 

President Joe Biden nominated Martin Gruenberg to chair the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, one of the U.S. banking regulators. 

Gruenberg has occupied the role in an acting capacity since February, and previously served as FDIC chair under President Barack Obama. As the administrator for the insurance that back-stops U.S. bank deposits, the regulator has key supervisory authorities over banking in the U.S. 

During Gruenberg's ongoing tenure, the FDIC has taken steps to stop crypto firms from misrepresenting that their users' assets are backed by the FDIC's bank account insurance. This included a cease-and-desist letter to FTX.US, which filed for bankruptcy protections last week, leaving the fate of user deposits uncertain. 

Just weeks ago, Gruenberg gave a speech during which he pushed to limit stablecoins to permissioned blockchains. As Congress weighs legislation touching on stablecoins, Gruenberg's opinions will carry greater weight should he be confirmed. Gruenberg will also testify before the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee tomorrow and Wednesday, respectively, as part of a previously scheduled appearance. 

Though multiple Biden nominees to key federal financial regulatory positions have struggled during the Senate confirmation process, Gruenberg's previous tenure as FDIC chair means he is a known quantity to members of Biden's party, who will be able to confirm him on a bare majority vote.

"Marty has years of experience shepherding the agency through difficult economic times, working with board members of both parties, and taking actions that protect consumers and strengthen the banking system," Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said in a statement. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., an outspoken voice on financial regulatory issues, praised Gruenberg as well, saying, "under his leadership, I am confident that the FDIC will work to ensure that banks serve the needs of American families, not just bank executives.”

Democrats are expected to retain a slim majority in the Senate following midterm elections. 

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