FDIC Chair Gruenberg Apologizes for Agency Culture, Commits to Fixes

May 15, 2024 by and

U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Martin Gruenberg on Wednesday said he was deeply sorry for a toxic workplace culture and his own mistreatment of employees.

Testifying before Congress, Gruenberg said he accepted the findings of an independent report that found widespread sexual harassment and employee mistreatment at the bank regulator. He also apologized for his own treatment of employees, after the report found he lost his temper multiple times with subordinates.

Related: Probe Finds Widespread Sexual Misconduct at FDIC

“I again personally want to apologize and express how deeply sorry I am. I also acknowledge my own failures as chairman, both in failing to recognize how my temperament in meetings impacted others and for not having identified the deeper cultural issues at the FDIC sooner,” he said in opening remarks before the House Financial Services Committee.

Multiple lawmakers, primarily Republicans, have called for Gruenberg to resign. Chairman Patrick McHenry argued Gruenberg would not tolerate similar behavior from bank executives at firms his agency oversees.

“It is clear from this report that deep institutional changes at the FDIC are necessary. Mr. Gruenberg, you are not the right person to lead those changes,” he said.

But Gruenberg insisted he was committed to fixing the agency where he has served for nearly two decades.

Gruenberg said he accepts all the recommendations of the independent review, including hiring a monitor to track the agency’s culture overhaul and a third-party expert to assist in that project. He also said the agency will create a new independent office of professional responsibility.