WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump plans to nominate former Treasury official Randal Quarles to be the Federal Reserve’s top banking regulator, the White House said on Monday.
If confirmed by the Senate, Quarles would be the first vice chair of supervision at the Fed, a role created after the 2008 financial crisis but never filled during the Obama administration.
Quarles is viewed as an industry-friendly figure who will likely listen to banks that have complained about the impact of regulations implemented since the financial meltdown. His nomination has been widely expected since April.
Former Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo effectively ran banking supervision until he stepped down in February, overseeing a strict implementation of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law and administering rigorous “stress tests” annually to banks on how prepared they are to withstand unexpected shocks.
Quarles currently runs a private investment firm that he founded, the Cynosure Group, from Salt Lake City, Utah. He was previously a partner at private equity firm the Carlyle Group. He was also under secretary for domestic finance at the Treasury under President George W. Bush and was the U.S. executive director of the International Monetary Fund.
In an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal in March 2016, Quarles and Lawrence Goodman, another former U.S. Treasury official, argued against breaking up big banks because it would risk damaging the wider economy. He has also talked about refining Obama-era financial rules, introduced after the financial crisis.
Quarles will be a central figure in pushing the Trump administration’s plans to loosen the leash put on Wall Street banks following the crisis.
Trump laid out his plans last month but he needs officials at key regulatory posts to carry out his agenda. He has gradually been nominating heads of financial agencies, but only Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton have been approved by Congress.
Other agencies are either awaiting presidential picks or are operating under “acting” chiefs. Others have leaders appointed by Trump’s Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama.