WASHINGTON – Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Donna Tanoue resigned her position on June 11 via a letter to President George W. Bush. Tanoue’s term had expired in October, and Bush announced in April that he intended to nominate Texas banker Donald Powell as the next chairman of the FDIC. As chairman, Tanoue, a Clinton appointee, pushed hard for comprehensive deposit insurance reform. The FDIC recently proposed key changes to the insurance system to Congress, as well as addressing subprime lending issues and predatory and payday lending. In a farewell memo to the FDIC staff, Tanoue wrote, “Together, we embarked on the most comprehensive re-evaluation of the deposit insurance system since the Corporation was founded in 1933. As a result of that re-examination, we have proposed important changes to our deposit insurance program. “We have worked to address the risks of subprime lending. We have initiated important proposals to address the problems of predatory and payday lending. We have sounded appropriate safety and soundness alarms. We have developed and implemented the Corporation’s first Diversity Strategic Plan.” America’s Community Bankers went so far as to say that her initiation of deposit insurance reform debate “will easily be her legacy as chairman.” Tanoue’s leaving will not have any direct effect on credit unions. However, NAFCU Communications Manager John Zimmerman said, “We were very pleased that the FDIC looked into deposit insurance reform for banks and thrifts similar to credit unions.” Tanoue served as the agency’s 17th chairman beginning on May 26, 1998. During her tenure, the FDIC reduced its workforce from 7,800 to 6,500 and its budget 6% between 2000 and 2001. Many in the credit union community have compared this to the NCUA’s continuously increasing budget. Powell, 60, will serve six years on the board, five of those as chairman replacing Tanoue. He is currently the President and CEO of First National Bank in Amarillo, Texas, a town in which he seems very popular, according to press reports. He also presently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Regents for the Texas A&M University System. Powell’s name for the position first surfaced in January, during a press conference of Senator Phil Gramm’s (R-Texas), who is a friend of Powell’s. [email protected]

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