Federal Reserve board member Daniel Tarullo, a key official guiding bank regulation efforts, will resign this spring, the central bank said Friday.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR exchanged-traded fund that owns a basket of bank and insurance stocks, added to gains and was up 0.4 percent after the announcement.
Tarullo's decision will clear the way for President Donald Trump to select a candidate for the bank supervision position. Trump is likely to choose someone more in line with his desires to roll back the regulations put in place by the Dodd-Frank Act, which overhauled bank supervision in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
Tarullo said in a short resignation letter to Trump that he planned to step down "on or around April 5, 2017." He did not provide a reason for his decision.
There are currently two vacancies on the Fed board because Congress refused to confirm two nominees of former President Barack Obama. Tarullo's departure will mean that Trump will have the chance to fill three Fed vacancies in his first months in office.
The Dodd-Frank Act created a position of vice chairman for bank supervision. But the Obama administration never filled the post, reflecting in part the sharp disagreements between Democrats and Republicans in Congress over how the financial system should be regulated. Instead, Tarullo has effectively served as the Fed's point person on bank regulation since 2009.
During the campaign, Trump was highly critical of the Dodd-Frank Act, pointing to it as a prime example of the problems of over-regulation that were harming economic growth.
Trump had been expected to fill the vice chairman for supervision position, which would likely have complicated Tarullo's role. His term as a Fed board member does not expire until Jan. 31, 2022.
"Dan led the Fed's work to craft a new framework for ensuring the safety and soundness of our financial system following the financial crisis and made invaluable contributions across the entire range of the Fed's responsibilities," Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in a statement.
Trump was also highly critical of Yellen during the presidential campaign, accusing her of keeping interest rates low to benefit Democrats. It is expected he will decide to appoint someone else as chairman of the Fed when Yellen's four-year term ends in February 2018. Yellen has said she has no intention of leaving before her term as chairman ends.
Tarullo, 64, had been a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center before joining the Fed board in 2009.
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