U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, today made the following statement at a Committee hearing on nominations for the Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and Member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC).
"Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Today, the Committee will consider several nominations.
"Martin Gruenberg has been nominated to serve as Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Mr. Gruenberg is no stranger to the Banking Committee, having served on its staff for over 25 years. For the past 6 years, he has served as Vice-Chair of the FDIC.
"If confirmed as Chairman, he will oversee the FDIC at a challenging time. Due to the financial crisis and the weak economy, bank failures continue at a steady pace.
"It will be no easy task for the FDIC to resolve these failed banks in a manner that protects the Deposit Insurance Fund.
"The FDIC also must decide how it will undertake the new regulatory responsibilities that it acquired under the Dodd-Frank Act.
"I hope to hear how Mr. Gruenberg, if confirmed, would approach both of these tasks. In particular, I would like to learn his views on whether the FDIC's new resolution authority will be sufficient to end too-big-to-fail and prevent future government bailouts.
"Also before us today is Thomas Curry, who has been nominated to be the Comptroller of the Currency.
"As the regulator of our largest banks, the Comptroller plays a key role in ensuring the safety and soundness of our banking system.
"Accordingly, I hope to hear today Mr. Curry's views on capital requirements. One of the lessons of the financial crisis should be the importance of maintaining strong capital requirements, especially for large, global banks.
"Finally, Roy Woodall has been nominated to serve as a Member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
"If confirmed, he will be the sole Member on the council specializing in insurance issues and the first person to hold this position.
"He will be working on a Council that includes the Treasury Secretary, the Federal Reserve Chairman and all of the heads of the major financial regulatory agencies.
"Since Mr. Woodall will not be supported by the staff of a financial regulator, unlike the other members of the Council, I am interested in hearing how he believes he can most effectively express his views and help the Council monitor systemic risk.
"The Federal government has historically paid little attention to insurance. The failure of AIG, however, demonstrated that the Federal government needs to do a far better job monitoring risks in this critical facet of our financial markets.
"Hopefully, Mr. Woodall can improve the Federal government's understanding of the risks presented by insurers and, in so doing, help prevent another AIG.
"Thank you Mr. Chairman."