Financial Services Chairwoman Waters Criticizes FDIC Buyout Plan

House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters expressed concern about the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s plan to close offices and offer buyouts to 20 percent of its workforce.

“I am deeply concerned by the FDIC’s decision to massively downsize its experienced workforce and close or consolidate offices in Los Angeles and across the nation,” Waters, D-California, said. “The FDIC should be working to ensure stability in the financial system, not to destabilize the livelihoods of its employees.”

Last week, the FDIC announced it is offering voluntary retirement and early separation to as many as 1,200 employees. It also said several field offices will be closed and consolidated with other offices, including those in Oklahoma, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio.

The FDIC said its organization has become too top-heavy in recent years and the agency needed to “rebalance the workforce” to focus on growing its examination and risk-related teams, while adding specialized information technology, computer science, data management and loan-review personnel.

“Additionally, at a time when this nation and the economy is faced with the growing threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the agency should be embracing the expertise of senior employees who have worked through a global financial crisis, instead of pushing them out the door,” said Waters, who vowed to “closely scrutinize the FDIC’s actions.”