March 29, 2012 / 5:55 PM / in 6 years

Senate confirms two top bank regulators

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate on Thursday confirmed two of President Barack Obama’s top financial nominees - Martin Gruenberg to lead the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and Thomas Curry to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Both are currently members of the FDIC board with Gruenberg serving as the acting chairman.

The Senate also confirmed without opposition Thomas Hoenig, a former president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City, as a member of the FDIC board.

Earlier Thursday, the Senate Banking Committee voted to approve the nomination of JP Morgan Chase and Co executive Jeremiah Norton to fill a post on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation board.

Norton currently works as an executive director for JP Morgan Securities LLC, where he advises institutions on mergers and acquisitions. He previously served as a deputy assistant secretary for financial institutions policy at the U.S. Treasury Department from 2007 to 2009.

The Banking Committee has now approved a full slate of candidates for the five-member FDIC board.

The FDIC and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency regulate banks and are playing key roles in drafting rules to carry out the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law.

The OCC chief is a member of the FDIC board as is the director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a job held by former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray.

Obama side-stepped the Senate and installed Corday into his position in January to get around Republican opposition.

Former Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Thomas Hoenig has been nominated to be the FDIC’s vice chairman. Both Hoenig and Norton were recommended by Republicans. The president traditionally fills the board with two members recommended by the opposition party because no more than three members of the board can be from the same party.

The committee also approved the nomination of Richard B. Berner to be director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research. The office was created by Dodd-Frank to keep track of risks that could roil financial markets and damage the economy.

Reporting By Glenn Somerville, Dave Clarke and Thomas Ferraro; editing by Andrea Ricci and Andre Grenon

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