Magazine article American Banker

Clinton Will Name Miss. Bank Regulator to Round out FDIC

Magazine article American Banker

Clinton Will Name Miss. Bank Regulator to Round out FDIC

Article excerpt

Joseph H. Neely, Mississippi's banking commissioner since 1992, will be nominated to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. board, the White House announced late Wednesday.

If confirmed, as expected, Mr. Neely will bring the FDIC's five-member board to full strength for the first time since August 1992.

"It's a great day for the FDIC," said Kenneth A. Guenther, executive vice president of the Independent Bankers Association of America. "It moves the FDIC to full independent status."

But Mr. Neely is not likely to make his way through the Senate's confirmation process before the FDIC board votes on its most pressing issue: slashing bank premiums by 83%.

"I don't think Neely can get there in time," said Edward L. Yingling, executive director of government relations at the American Bankers Association. However, Mr. Yingling added, "The reduction is going through."

Before taking the helm of Mississippi's Department of Banking and Consumer Finance, Mr. Neely, 43, spent 15 years as a banker, rising to senior vice president at Merchants National Bank, a $180 million-asset bank in Vicksburg, Miss.

Mr. Neely's name surfaced last December and gained momentum as Senate majority whip Trent Lott, R-Miss., publicly backed him for the post.

Mac Deaver, executive director of the Mississippi Bankers Association, credited Mr. Neely with streamlining the state's banking laws and modernizing its banking department.

"He's been an outstanding commissioner," Mr. Deaver said. "He's independent, aggressive, and outspoken. …

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