Sunday, December 19, 2010

Regulatory Turf: FDIC Muscles In On Fed Territory

Philip van Doorn

12/15/10 - 04:12 PM EST

WASHINGTON (TheStreet) -- The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Wednesday announced a director for the new Office of Complex Financial Institutions, the next step in giving the FDIC regulatory powers normally reserved for the Federal Reserve.

The FDIC announced that Jim Wigand would be appointed to the position effective December 31. Wigand is currently the FDIC's deputy director for Franchise and Asset Marketing in the Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, handling the disposition of failed banks since 1997.

The new office is responsible for the "continuous review and oversight of bank holding companies with more than $100 billion in assets as well as non-bank financial companies designated as systemically important by the new Financial Stability Oversight Council," as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

This means the FDIC will now have supervisory authority and will have a continuous presence at the nation's largest bank holding companies. That regulatory authority that has been the sole bailiwick of the Fed but now affected financial firms will have another set of regulatory relationships to manage.

The Office of Complex Financial Institutions will also be responsible - along with the Federal Reserve - for reviewing and approving resolution plans for large banks and non-bank financial institutions.

The Financial Stability Oversight Council is chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Comptroller of the Currency and chairs of the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Housing Finance Agency, the National Credit Union Administration and the FDIC are among the members of the council.

There are over 50 U.S. bank holding companies, investment banks, insurance companies and specialty finance companies with over $100 billion in total assets. The largest include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were taken into government conservatorship in September 2008. Other large, systemically important companies with over a $1 trillion in assets apiece include Bank of America (BAC)Citigroup (C)JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC).

FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said she was pleased with Wigand's appointment, as his decades of experience in resolutions, asset sales, structured finance and financial institution regulation uniquely position him to lead the CFI at a critically important time."


Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.