FDIC chairman Martin Gruenberg to resign following investigations into sexual harassment at the bank regulator

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FDIC chairman Martin Gruenberg to resign following investigations into sexual harassment at the bank regulator

Martin Gruenberg, the chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, testifying before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill on Thursday.Kevin Dietsch via Getty Images

  • The FDIC chairman, Martin Gruenberg, has said he’ll resign following a report on poor workplace culture.

  • An investigation found that the FDIC’s culture was misogynistic and that wrongdoers weren’t punished.

  • President Joe Biden is set to nominate a new FDIC chair, whom the Senate would then vote on.

The chairman of a key US bank regulator has said he’ll resign after an independent investigation found widespread sexual harassment and other issues at the agency, and politicians from both major parties criticized his leadership.

The independent report from earlier this month found the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation had a “patriarchal,” “misogynistic,” and “insular” work culture. The report also probed the strong temper of the FDIC chairman, Martin Gruenberg.

The 71-year-old Democratic chairman has spent nearly a decade in the role under multiple presidential administrations.

In an email to staff on Monday cited by The Wall Street Journal, Gruenberg said he’d resign once a successor had been found. Staying in office would prevent the FDIC vice chairman, Travis Hill, a Republican, from becoming the agency’s acting chairman.

“In light of recent events, I am prepared to step down from my responsibilities once a successor is confirmed,” Gruenberg said in the email, according to the Journal. He added that he’d continue to fulfill his responsibilities in the meantime, “including the transformation of the FDIC’s workplace culture.”

The White House said that President Joe Biden would soon nominate a new FDIC chairman and that it expected the Senate to move quickly to confirm the nominee.

At a hearing earlier this month, House of Representative members questioned the FDIC’s ability to do its job as a bank regulator and stop bank failures if Gruenberg was yelling at employees who brought him bad news.

“I accept the findings of the reports, and as chairman, I take full responsibility to anyone who has experienced sexual harassment, discrimination, or other misconduct at the FDIC,” Gruenberg said at the hearing.

Lawmakers from both major parties asked for him to step down during the hearing.

The 234-page summary of the monthslong investigation, led by the external law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, highlighted long-standing and recent issues at the agency. The report said that the FDIC had dismissed myriad harassment complaints and that wrongdoers had been moved around internally or promoted.

Investigators said they set up a hotline in mid-January and received more than 500 complaints — largely from current employees — about sexual harassment, discrimination, and other issues. The FDIC has about 6,000 employees.

The report characterized the FDIC’s culture as “a ‘good ol’ boys’ club where favoritism is common, wagons are circled around managers, and senior executives with well-known reputations for pursuing romantic relations with subordinates enjoy long careers without any apparent consequence.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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