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Chair of the FDIC, a Trump appointee, resigns after warning of ‘hostile takeover’ by Democrats 

Chair of the FDIC, a Trump appointee, resigns after warning of ‘hostile takeover’ by Democrats

  • Jelena McWilliams, 48, wrote an open letter Friday slamming Senate Dems over going around her to suit their own agenda 
  • When I immigrated to this country 30 years ago, I did so with a firm belief in the American system of government,’ McWilliams, a Serbian immigrant, wrote 
  • Her resignation appears to stem from clashes between McWilliams and Democrats over bank merger rules 
  • Rohit Chopra, the new director of the CFPB, complained that McWilliams had refused to recognize their attempts to review rules about bank mergers 
  • McWilliams said that while many senate chambers had faced an FDIC chair from the opposing party, none had ever behaved like the current crop of Democrats 










The chairperson of the FDIC resigned Friday just weeks after she attempted to warn of a ‘hostile takeover’ of the commission by Democrats.  

Jelena McWilliams, 48, wrote an open letter Friday slamming Senate Dems over going around her to suit their own agenda.  

‘When I immigrated to this country 30 years ago, I did so with a firm belief in the American system of government,’ McWilliams, a Serbian immigrant, wrote in the letter. 

McWilliams has a decades-long career in law, finance and banking policy before Trump appointed her to the chair.    

Her resignation appears to stem from clashes between McWilliams and Democrats over bank merger rules.   

Jelena McWilliams, the soon-to-be ex-Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

McWilliams announced her resignation in a letter addressed to President Joe Biden on Friday

McWilliams announced her resignation in a letter addressed to President Joe Biden on Friday

Rohit Chopra, a member of the FDIC board and the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, complained that McWilliams had refused to recognize their attempts to review rules about bank mergers.

‘This approach to governance is unsafe and unsound,’ he said. ‘It is also an attack on the rule of law.’

At a virtual meeting earlier Tuesday, McWilliams, the board’s lone Republican, struck down Chopra’s request to record in the minutes a vote on the review. McWilliams said their general counsel had ruled the vote, which had been taken earlier by the Democrats, to be invalid.  

‘During my tenure at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the United States Senate, and the FDIC, I have developed a deep appreciation for these venerable institutions and their traditions.’  

Rohit Chopra, a member of the FDIC board and the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, complained that McWilliams had refused to recognize their attempts to review rules about bank mergers

Rohit Chopra, a member of the FDIC board and the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, complained that McWilliams had refused to recognize their attempts to review rules about bank mergers

Martin J. Gruenberg served as acting chairman of FDIC and still serves as a board member under McWilliams

Martin J. Gruenberg served as acting chairman of FDIC and still serves as a board member under McWilliams

McWilliams said that while many senate chambers had faced an FDIC chair from the opposing party, none had ever behaved like the current crop of Democrats.

‘Of the 20 chairmen who preceded me at the FDIC, nine faced a majority of the board members from the opposing party, including [Martin J. Gruenberg] as chairman under President Trump until I replaced him as chairman in 2018,’ McWilliams wrote in her op-ed. ‘Never before has a majority of the board attempted to circumvent the chairman to pursue their own agenda.’ 

She made it clear that her departure had nothing to do with bank merger disputes.

‘This conflict isn’t about bank mergers. If it were, board members would have been willing to work with me and the FDIC staff rather than attempt a hostile takeover of the FDIC internal processes, staff and board agenda.’ 

McWilliams resignation will be effective February 4. Her replacement is not immediately clear.

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