Seidman's last farewell
NEW ORLEANS-In her farewell address to the thrift industry, Clinton-appointed Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) Director Ellen Seidman reviewed her four-year tenure as a time of enhanced profitability and stability for both OTS and the thrift industry. President George W. Bush has nominated James Gilleran to serve the remainder of her term through October 23, 2002. In a speech at the America's Community Bankers annual convention, she encouraged every thrift to adopt a strategic vision that "focuses on long-term profitability" and recognizes what makes each thrift special. She discussed the improvements made to the thrift charter through OTS regulations, guidance, handbooks and opinions, as well as through its work with Congress and with other federal and state financial regulators. She pointed out that since she arrived, OTS has updated fiduciary powers, issued guidance on electronic operations, improved interest rate risk bulletins and models, and issued a completely revised trust handbook that is modern and forward-looking. During Seidman's tenure, the skills of the staff were substantially upgraded even as the agency was being downsized; OTS began refilling examiner spots; a more efficient application process; improved communications with the industry; and other items.