"With a divided Congress slow to confirm appointees, only one of the four federal bank regulators had a permanent chief, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. board of directors had just three members. No one on the board was the confirmed head of an agency," writes American Banker's Joe Adler.

As the new year begins, the agencies will have a better understanding of who the leaders are. Unlike the temporary leaders who were called in during the interim, having a full slate of regulators will allow for more efficiency in carrying out post financial crisis policy. This includes rules yet to be implemented under the Dodd-Frank reform law.

The temporary leaders faced the grueling task of managing agencies in the crucial period following Dodd-Frank.

"It's harder to be bold when you don't know if you're going to be there very long," said Eugene Ludwig, a former comptroller of the currency and now head of the Promontory Financial Group.

The certainty about leadership of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2013 means the agencies are more likely to act quickly on a long list of unfinished business, including Dodd-Frank rules dealing with the mortgage sector and new proprietary trading restrictions.

For the full piece see "Regulatory Confirmations Likely to Speed Dodd-Frank Implementation" (may require subscription).