Trump's pick to head U.S. bank regulator withdraws

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - James Clinger, picked by President Donald Trump in June to head the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, announced on Wednesday he was withdrawing his name from consideration.

He has asked to be removed as the president’s pick to head the U.S. bank regulator, citing family-related issues.

“It is ... with a sense of regret that I have asked the White House to withdraw my nomination. I did so after concluding that the family-related obligations that prompted me to leave government service earlier this year - which have grown more challenging in the interim - are incompatible with the demands of leading an important federal agency like the FDIC,” Clinger said in a statement.

Clinger, who spent two decades as a Republican staff member of the House Financial Services Committee, was nominated for the post in June.

His withdrawal is a setback for the Trump administration, as the president has said his top priorities include easing rules on the banking sector to spur economic growth.

The FDIC chairman plays a key role in supervising banks as well as determining if large financial institutions have credible “living wills,” detailing how they could be taken apart in a financial crisis.

Martin Gruenberg, the current FDIC chairman who was appointed by President Obama, plans to serve until his term expires in November.

Before leaving the committee in November, Clinger had served as the committee’s chief Republican counsel since 2007, and his time as a staffer to the panel going back to 1995. He spent two years serving as a deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department from 2005 to 2007.

Shortly after Clinger was nominated, a senior administration official touted his extensive experience with banking policy in a briefing call with reporters, while describing him as a pragmatic and well-informed policymaker.

Reporting by Pete Schroeder, editing by G Crosse