In her resignation letter to President Joe Biden, FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams wrote, “It has been a tremendous honor to serve this nation, and I did not take a single day for granted. Throughout my public service, I have been constantly reminded how blessed we are to live in the United States of America,” calling her time at the FDIC “the highlight of my professional life.”
McWilliams, who said she intends to step down from her role effective February 4, credited the “committed staff of the FDIC” for the US’ economic rebound from Covid-19.
Her resignation as the sole Republican on the five-member board hands control of the agency to Democrats, potentially removing an obstacle to the Biden administration’s regulatory agenda. And while her letter does not mention why she’s resigning before her term ends in June 2023, McWilliams has asserted publicly in recent weeks that she believes she’s being undermined.
McWilliams, who worked as a top aide to Republican Sens. Mike Crapo of Idaho and Richard Shelby of Alabama before joining the FDIC, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in December alleging that Democrats on the board were engaging in a “hostile takeover.”
The FDIC declined CNN’s request for comment about the allegations and her resignation.
Along with McWilliams, the FDIC is board is comprised of Martin Gruenberg; Rohit Chopra, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and Michael Hsu, the acting Comptroller of the Currency. With McWilliams’ resignation, there will be two vacant positions on the board.
Gruenberg is expected to take over as acting chairman following McWilliams’ departure — his third time leading the independent agency, which insures deposits for American banks.