FDIC disputes report on bank CEOs being replaced

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp disputed on Friday a report that said Chairman Sheila Bair believes some U.S. bank chief executives will be replaced in the next couple of months as regulators assess lenders’ financial strength.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Sheila Bair briefs reporters on the latest developments of the U.S. banking system at the Reuters Financial Regulation Summit in Washington, April 24, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

The FDIC said the Bloomberg News report, which cited a television interview to be broadcast this weekend, was “misleading.”

“Chairman Bair said that management changes could happen based on the capital plans that an institution must submit to the government,” the FDIC said in a statement. “She did not refer to CEOs specifically and the comment was in the context of capital plans submitted by the institutions. Chairman Bair also did not suggest the federal government will remove the bank CEOs.”

Last week, regulators told 10 of the largest U.S. banks to raise a combined $74.6 billion of capital to help withstand a potentially deep recession.

The banks that were told by the government to raise more capital must submit capital recovery plans to the government, which must include a review of their management and boards to determine if they have appropriate skill sets.

The FDIC also submitted a copy of the interview transcript.

“Management needs to be evaluated,” Bair said on Bloomberg TV’s program “Political Capital with Al Hunt.”

“Have they been doing a good job? Are there people who can do a better job,” Bair said. Asked about some managers being replaced, Bair replied, “Yes,” according to the report.

In the last year, the federal government has ousted chief executives of American International Group Inc, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after taking big ownership stakes.

In March, it pushed out General Motors Corp Chief Executive Rick Wagoner after concluding the automaker’s recovery plan did not go far enough.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel and Karey Wutkowski, editing by Leslie Gevirtz and Matthew Lewis