Trump Plans to Nominate Fifth Third's Top Lawyer to Lead Key Banking Regulator

  • Jelena McWilliams would run a key U.S. banking regulator
  • She would suceed FDIC Chairman Gruenberg, an Obama appointee

President Donald Trump 

Photographer: Evan Vucci/AP

President Donald J. Trump plans to nominate Fifth Third Bancorp’s top lawyer to lead the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., a key banking regulator that has been run by a Barack Obama-appointee throughout Trump’s first 11 months in office.

Jelena McWilliams, Fifth Third’s chief legal officer, would succeed Martin Gruenberg. The White House announced Trump’s intent to nominate McWilliams in a Thursday statement.

If confirmed by the Senate, McWilliams would join other Trump appointees who are crucial to his goal of rolling back rules for the financial industry. The FDIC, which polices lenders and protects customer deposits, is one of the main overseers of U.S. banking industry and will have an important role in dismantling regulations.

McWilliams is a former chief counsel for Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee and also worked at the Federal Reserve. She was hired as Fifth Third’s chief legal officer in January after her predecessor was let go because she had a romantic relationship with Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Timothy Mayopoulos.

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