In the three years since her former boss left to become New York State's top insurance regulator, Elizabeth McCaul has filled in as the state's banking superintendent and waited for the word "acting" to be taken out of her title.

She has overseen the state's 3,500 financial institutions, listened to the seemingly endless complaints of financial executives and consumer groups, and occasionally placated political bosses in Albany and Washington. In addition she has promoted, with the zeal of a recent convert, the virtues of the state banking charter.

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