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Senator Katie Britt Questions Prudential Regulators on FDIC Workplace Culture

U.S. Senator Katie Britt ‘We Need a Wholesale Change Starting at the Top’ at FDIC

Washington D.C. — U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) participated in an oversight hearing of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee yesterday, focusing on prudential regulators. The hearing included testimony from Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chair Martin Gruenberg, and Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu.

This hearing followed the release of an independent investigatory report last week that unveiled a toxic workplace culture at the FDIC. The report detailed numerous allegations, including discrimination, unsolicited sexual advances, assault, and obstacles faced by women seeking promotions after having children.

Senator Britt expressed her dismay at these findings, emphasizing the FDIC’s role in maintaining public confidence in the U.S. financial system. She questioned Acting Comptroller Hsu, who serves on the FDIC board, asking three times if he believed that an agency described as “misogynistic,” “abusive,” and “toxic” could instill trust and confidence in the American people. Mr. Hsu did not provide a straightforward “yes” or “no” answer. Similarly, Vice Chair Barr also refrained from answering the same question directly when asked twice by Senator Britt.

Senator Britt highlighted Chair Gruenberg’s long tenure at the FDIC, noting his significant leadership roles over the past 19 years. She criticized him for failing to foster a suitable work environment and culture within the agency during his time in leadership.

In her concluding remarks, Senator Britt called for substantial changes at the FDIC. “You said this is about people, this is about employees. In order to restore confidence, literally it starts at the top,” she told Chair Gruenberg. “We need a change. The American people deserve a change. The FDIC was actually created to give them confidence in the financial system, and we need a wholesale change starting at the top.”

U.S. Senator Katie Britt ‘We Need a Wholesale Change Starting at the Top’ at FDIC

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