How banking regulators are trying to oust a Trump asset
Then came the fireworks display. The FDIC’s public affairs office, which Ms McWilliams controls, issued a statement:
“Earlier today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) posted on its website a document, purportedly approved by the FDIC, requesting comment on bank mergers,” the statement said, which was not attributed to anybody. “No such document has been approved by the FDIC.”
For several weeks, Ms McWilliams and her staff had been trying in private to counter Mr Chopra and Mr Gruenberg, according to two people with knowledge of the case who were not authorized to speak in public. After hearing about efforts to create a public information demand on bank mergers, Ms McWilliams offered alternative text for the document, the people said, which other board members were quick to dismiss.
When the voting process for the proposal began in late November, Ms McWilliams did not vote, saying the process violated procedure and no votes would be valid, people said.
Senior FDIC officials said on Thursday they would not complete the process necessary to formalize the request for information. They said the decision by the two Democrats did not follow the proper procedure and was therefore invalid.
Mr. Gruenberg disagreed.
“It is clear under the law that the majority of the FDIC board of directors has the power to put items on the agendas of board meetings and, alternatively, to circulate and act on scoring votes, to implement the actions of the council, âhe said in an emailed statement to reporters Thursday. âNo individual member of the Council can overstep the authority of the majority. “
An OCC spokeswoman declined to speak directly about the vote, saying only that Hsu wanted to “work in conjunction with other regulators” on bank merger issues.
Both people familiar with the case said Mr Chopra and Mr Gruenberg would most likely have to sue McWilliams if they wanted to move the case forward.