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Thomas Hoenig, Big Bank Critic, Nominated To FDIC Board Of Directors

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President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated a prominent critic of large banks for a key banking industry regulatory post.

The White House said Obama tapped former Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Thomas Hoenig to be vice chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, a regulator that insures individual bank accounts up to $250,000.

Hoenig has been a critic of large banks, arguing they still pose a threat to the financial system and that the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law did not do enough to address the issue.

"We must make sure that large financial organizations are not in position to hold the U.S. economy hostage," Hoenig told a meeting of the Women in Housing and Finance in February. "We must break up the largest banks."

Hoenig served as head of the Kansas City Fed from 1991 until October 1, 2011.

If confirmed by the Senate, he would replace Martin Gruenberg as vice chairman of the FDIC board. Gruenberg has been nominated to be chairman. Former Chair Sheila Bair stepped down in July.

Another current FDIC board member, Thomas Curry, has been nominated to be head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The full Senate has yet to vote on either the Gruenberg or Curry nomination.

(Reporting by JoAnne Allen; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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