Jelena McWilliams, the chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), resigned from her job on February 4, 2022. McWilliams, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump, warned President Biden in her resignation letter that Senate Democrats were skirting her to further their own agenda.
“After serving as the 21st Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) since June 2018, I intend to resign as Chairman effective February 4, 2022,” said McWilliams,
“When I immigrated to this country 30 years ago, I did so with a firm belief in the American system of government. 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. 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,” she said.
“Serving the American people alongside the dedicated career professionals of the FDIC has been the highlight of my professional life. Throughout my tenure, the agency has focused on its fundamental mission to maintain and instill confidence in our banking system while at the same time promoting innovation, strengthening financial inclusion, improving transparency, and supporting community banks and minority depository institutions, including through the creation of the Mission Driven Bank Fund. Today, banks continue to maintain robust capital and liquidity levels to support lending and protect against potential losses,” the chair said.
“The unexpected shock of COVID-19 tested the resilience of our financial system beginning in March 2020, and the FDIC took swift actions to maintain stability and provide flexibility for banks and consumers. The core of our financial system not only weathered the storm but was a tangible source of strength for the American economy. The committed staff of the FDIC deserves great credit for these results, and they have my profound gratitude. I am humbled by their dedication to the FDIC’s mission and honored to have served with them,” her letter read.
Her resignation letter sounded an alarm by issuing a public and clear warning of a “hostile takeover” by the Democrats. McWilliams’ tenure at the FDIC was expected to expire in 2023. McWilliams is now taking more effort on her own to resist Democratic proposals in 2023.
In a power battle with McWilliams, Democratic FDIC members released a reaction the day she resigned, calling her intention to quit a “invalid affront to a proud 88-year history of Board members working together in a collegial manner”, Banking Dive then stated. McWilliams changed her strategy and began working from outside the company.
McWilliams has now become a managing partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, anchoring the firm’s new Washington, D.C. office. McWilliams’ appointment marks his return to the private sector after leading the FDIC for three and a half years. She is joining Cravath’s Corporate Department, where she will fight the same “hostile takeovers” in Congress that she left the FDIC to resist.
Conservative Brief reported on the press statement issued by Cravath:
“Our clients face an increasingly complex and active regulatory environment, and our move today enhances our ability to provide the most creative advice in addressing their most challenging matters,” said Faiza J. Saeed, Cravath’s Presiding Partner. “With nearly half a century of combined public service, Jelena, Elad, and Jennifer will bring exceptional regulatory experience, legal acumen, and leadership on critical issues. We are thrilled to welcome them to Cravath,” a press release said.
“Jelena McWilliams is a former Chairman of the FDIC where she managed over 6,000 employees and engaged in oversight of approximately 5,000 banks. While at the FDIC, she served as a voting member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council; chaired the Resolution Group at the Financial Stability Board; chaired and served on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council; and served on the Financial and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee. She testified before U.S. Congress on numerous occasions, and engaged extensively with U.S. and international regulators, including at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Association of Deposit Insurers. Ms. McWilliams previously served as Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary for Fifth Third Bank; Chief Counsel and Deputy Staff Director with the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; and Assistant Chief Counsel with the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee,” the statement added.
“Building the Washington, D.C. office for a firm as venerable as Cravath—its second U.S. office in over 200 years—is an opportunity of a lifetime. I am honored to be joining the Cravath partnership at this important moment for the Firm,” said McWilliams.