Slideshow The key positions Trump must fill in financial services

Published
  • April 10 2017, 11:04am EDT
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President Trump has been in office for nearly 12 weeks, but he still hasn’t nominated several critical positions among financial services regulators. Moreover, the list of vacancies and those with expired terms just grew longer last week as Federal Reserve Board Gov. Daniel Tarullo stepped down and Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry’s term expired. Following is a guide to what’s vacant now, and when other posts will be available.

Federal Reserve

Trump took office with two vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board, and after Tarullo's departure last week, now has three slots to fill on the seven-member board. One of those positions is the vice chairman of banking supervision, a new role created by the Dodd-Frank Act which has yet been unfilled. Another of the Fed nominees must have community banking experience, a key position for smaller institutions. It’s not clear why Trump has waited so long to name these positions. During a meeting with community bankers last month, the president told attendees there would be an announcement "soon."

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Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Comptroller Curry’s five-year term technically expired on Sunday, but he is expected to stay in the post until a successor is nominated and confirmed. It’s not clear when that is coming. The speculation remains that Joseph Otting, the former CEO of OneWest Bank who previously worked for now Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, is the administration‘s choice, but that is not yet official.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is still short a single board director, a position that has been open since Jeremiah Norton left in 2015. Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Vice Chair Thomas Hoenig, meanwhile, are nearing the end of their terms, which expires in November. The Trump administration will have to be careful who it picks for all three posts as well as the OCC (which sits on the FDIC board) since federal law prevents the 5-member board from having any more than three members of the same political party.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray’s term doesn’t expire until July 2018, but that hasn’t stopped speculation about who might replace him. Many in the banking industry expected President Trump to attempt to fire Cordray, but the president has been cautious. He told a group of bankers meeting with him last month that he wasn’t sure it was worth it given Cordray’s remaining time in office. At that meeting, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn told the president that Cordray would likely run for governor of Ohio, a popular rumor among Republicans. Until either Cordray leaves, his term ends, or the president fires him, a successor is unlikely to be announced, but the administration is liable to be looking for candidates nevertheless.

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Federal Reserve

Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s term on the board of governors doesn’t expire until January 2024, but her tenure as chairman expires in February of 2018. That gives Trump some lead time to find a successor. If Yellen chooses to stay on the board, however, he would have to choose between one of the other six governors (assuming the three vacant positions have been filled by that time), which could narrow his options. Yellen has not said whether she will leave if she is not reappointed as chairman.