FDIC's No. 2 to leave the agency Monday

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WASHINGTON — The No. 2 at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will resign Monday after serving a full six-year term on the agency's board.

Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig was confirmed to a seat on the FDIC's board of directors in April 2012 after previously serving as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City from 1991 to 2011.

Hoenig, a tough critic of risky practices by big banks before and after the crisis, has been a key voice among federal regulators in strengthening capital requirements.

For example, in 2014 he and other FDIC officials had strongly backed a higher leverage ratio for the largest banks, which resulted in U.S. institutions having to follow a more rigorous standard than under international rules. However, Trump administration appointees have recently pushed to ease the leverage ratio standard, steps which Hoenig has criticized.

“I caution strongly against eroding the post-crisis capital standards that have contributed to the strength of U.S. banks and the long-awaited recovery of the U.S. economy,” said Hoenig during a speech last month.

In a statement Friday announcing his impending departure, Hoenig said, "It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the public and be a part of the FDIC and its mission during these past six years."

His term as an FDIC board member technically ended earlier this month, but he was allowed to stay on because no successor has been confirmed by the Senate to fill his board seat. (The White House pick to succeed FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg, Jelena McWilliams, was actually nominated to fill Hoenig's seat on the board. McWilliams' nomination before the Senate is still pending.)

“I would like to thank Vice Chairman Hoenig for his extraordinary career of public service at both the FDIC and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City,” said Gruenberg in a statement. “Tom has been a forceful advocate for strong, independent financial regulation and has contributed enormously to the mission of the FDIC during his time as Vice Chairman. The FDIC was fortunate to benefit from his service.”

Gruenberg's term on the board expires later this year, but he is serving on an expired term as chairman.

If McWilliams is confirmed to lead the FDIC, Gruenberg could still remain at the agency to serve out his term as a board member. He indicated earlier this year that he was still uncertain whether he would serve the rest of his term.

“Frankly, I am still trying to figure that one out,” Gruenberg told reporters Feb. 27.

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