Magazine article American Banker

Va. Banker Duke Joins Fed's Board

Magazine article American Banker

Va. Banker Duke Joins Fed's Board

Article excerpt

Byline: Emily Flitter

WASHINGTON - Elizabeth A. "Betsy" Duke, who began her career as a bank teller in Virginia Beach, was sworn in as a Federal Reserve Board governor Tuesday - the only banker among the six sitting board members.

"There should always be at least one banker with practical experience on the board," said Edward L. Yingling, the president of the American Bankers Association. "I think one of her roles will be to keep taking the temperature of banks all across the country. This is a critical time for that."

Ms. Duke, 56, spent six years on the ABA board and was its 2004-05 chairman.

She took her Fed oath in time to participate in the Federal Open Market Committee meeting Tuesday, but observers say she is more likely to have an impact on regulatory versus monetary policy.

Chris Low, chief economist at First Horizon National Corp.'s FTN Financial Capital Markets, said Ms. Duke would likely bring her commercial banking experience to bear on the broader regulatory issues the credit crisis has raised.

"Long term, I think her big contribution is ensuring that the regulatory reform, which the Fed and Treasury are pursing right now, are compatible with the needs of the banking system," he said.

Ms. Duke's term will expire Jan. 31, 2012; she is completing a 14-year appointment that Susan S. Bies, another banker, vacated in March of last year.

President Bush nominated Ms. Duke and two others for the Fed board in May of last year. The Senate Banking Committee did not confirm her nomination until June 27. …

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