WASHINGTON A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is calling on the White House to select a nominee to the Federal Reserve Board with community banking experience.
The coalition of 87 members signed a letter asking President Obama to consider someone with community banking or supervisory experience,as the administration continues its selection process for two remaining vacancies on the Fed Board.
"We believe it's in the Federal Reserve's best interest to have a representative who understands the unique needs and perspectives of community banks when key economic and regulatory decisions are being debated," says the letter, organized by Reps. Sean Duffy, R-Wisc., and Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo.
The Senate recently confirmed two new members to the board, Stanley Fischer to serve as vice chairman, and Lael Brainard, and reconfirmed sitting Fed Gov. Jerome Powell for a new term, during what's been a high period of turnover for the agency's leadership. The absence of community banking experience on the board has been felt more keenly with the recent departures of former Fed Govs. Elizabeth Duke and Sarah Bloom Raskin, observers have said.
"Community bankers have an unparalleled understanding of what it takes to create healthy, vibrant local economies, which lead to a more robust national economy overall," said John Buhrmaster, chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America and president and chief executive of 1st National Bank of Scotia, N.Y., in a press release. "It's in the Federal Reserve's best interest to have a community banker on the board who can bring this valuable expertise and perspective to the table helping to make the Fed board's decision process on economic and monetary policy as holistic as possible."
A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation in April mandating that at least one Fed governor have community banking or relevant supervision experience.