Pandemic prompts FDIC to suspend staff buyouts

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WASHINGTON — A Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. plan to offer staff voluntary buyouts has been put on hold due to coronavirus concerns, a spokesperson said.

Earlier this month, the FDIC announced it was offering the early retirement and voluntary separation agreements to about 20% of its workforce. The decision followed warnings by the agency’s inspector general about the large percentage of FDIC personnel up for retirement within the next five years — about 42% — which could leave the agency with a staffing hole in a future crisis.

But with markets in turmoil over the global pandemic, the buyouts have been “suspended, not canceled,” the spokesperson said.

“The process of reshaping the FDIC is still going forward,” a spokesperson for the agency said, adding that the regulator would continue to fill existing vacancies and hire for roles intended to sharpen its approach to fintech and other banking trends.

The FDIC spokesperson said the agency will not halt plans to reorganize field offices, which will include closing facilities in Tulsa, Okla.; Gainesville, Fla.; Hopkinsville, Ky.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Cincinnati, Ohio. Staff in those offices will be moved to other locations.

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