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Washington
FSOC FDIC nominees see some bipartisan committee support
WASHINGTON (7/27/11)—President Barack Obama’s nominees for Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. chairman, Comptroller of the Currency, and Financial Stability Oversight Council member could face a potentially easy path to their new positions if Tuesday’s even-tempered Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearing is any indication. Senators spoke with FDIC nominee Martin Gruenberg, potential Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, and FSOC nominee S. Roy Woodall Jr. during the Tuesday hearing. Committee Chair Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) in his opening statement noted that the three nominees are “well qualified,” adding that the nation needs “strong leadership” at from its financial regulators as the country recovers from recent economic troubles. Discussions of both too big to fail and smaller institutions, credit access, and general economic and financial services topics made up the bulk of the hearing. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) sought reassurances that Gruenberg would work with the Senate on addressing too big to fail institutions and FDIC examiner consistency, and the FDIC nominee said that working with smaller institutions would be a priority during his chairmanship. Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said he is concerned that still-developing reforms to the definition of a qualified residential mortgage (QRM) may harm the housing market if the definition is not broad enough. Gruenberg said that the final QRM definition, once agreed to, must balance concerns over consumer credit access and financial market security concerns. The Credit Union National Association and others, including a bipartisan group of lawmakers, have criticized a proposal to require a 20% down payment for a loan to be defined as a QRM, saying that this change would shut out responsible homebuyers and further cripple the housing market. For an archived video of the hearing, use the resource link.
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