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Bank Regulators Face Off Over Exec Compensation

Recent bank executive activity

Jan. 19, 2010


Two federal banking regulators are at odds over a proposed rule that would factor bank executive compensation into the deposit insurance assessment program. But the regulatory bickering didn't slow the flow executives between banks.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said it is considering whether the deposit insurance assessment program should consider the risks that employee compensation structures pose. The government insurer approved an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, and public comment will be available for 30 days after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register.

"The recent crisis has shown that compensation practices that encourage excessive risk can create significant losses in the financial system and the deposit insurance fund," FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said in a statement. "A broad consensus of academic studies agrees that poorly designed compensation structures can misalign incentives and induce risk taking.

"I share those concerns."

But Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan has his own major concerns about the proposed rule.

Dugan said in a recent statement that executive compensation was already addressed in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in December. The legislation would prohibit incentive compensation that could threaten safety, soundness or the economy. Dugan said the Senate's version of the bill is also likely to address the topic.

"This leads me to my second concern. I do not believe that a sufficient basis has been demonstrated to support the approach in the draft advance notice of proposed rulemaking," Dugan stated. "Citations in the preamble to works of academics and consultants simply do not provide an adequate basis to support the broad approach described."

Dennis F. Walsh was appointed chief executive officer of troubled Home Loan Investment Bank on Jan. 1, the Providence Business News reported. Former CEO Brian Murphy, whose father John M. Murphy purchased the bank's charter in 1974, will stay on as president.

Walsh will oversee 77 Home Loan Investment Bank employees, $79 million in home loans and $51 million in commercial mortgages, according to FDIC data. The Warwick, R.I.-based bank had $25 million in losses last year through Sept. 30.

Former GMAC group vice president David C. Walker joined Farmington Hills, Mich.-based Level One Bank as chief financial officer, a Jan. 15 news release said. Walker reportedly spent 24 years at GMAC.

Scott Hutchison resigned as a director of Lynnwood, Wash.-based City Bank, a press release yesterday said. The move was made in response to the NASDAQ's demand that a majority of board members be independent following the appointment of Martin Heimbigner to president and chief executive officer on Jan. 1.

photo of Dennis Walsh
Home Loan photo
of Dennis Walsh

photo of Larry Kilgore
Southwest Securities photo of Larry Kilgore

Larry Kilgore was hired as senior vice president, regional president at Dallas-based Southwest Securities, FSB, an announcement last week indicated. Half of his 40-year banking career was spent at Southwest Bank.

Kay St. John was promoted by BB&T Corp. to Texas regional president, the Winston-Salem Journal reported. Before joining BB&T in 2006, John worked at Wells Fargo & Co.

Principal Bank Chairman Barrie G. Christman was named vice president of the Federal Reserve Board's Thrift Institutions Advisory Council for 2010, the Des Moines, Iowa-based firm said in a Jan. 12 announcement. He was originally appointed to a two-year term on the council in 2009. The 12-member council, formed in 1980, discusses developments with thrifts, regulatory issues and mortgage finance.

Sam Garcia worked in mortgage lending for twenty years prior to becoming publisher of in 2000.

[email protected]

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