The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (Council) announced today the appointment of Karen K. Lawson to the Council’s five-member State Liaison Committee (SLC). Lawson is Director of the Office of Banking within the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS). The office is responsible for the regulation, examination and supervision of state-chartered banks, savings banks, trust banks, and business and industrial development companies (BIDCOs). In addition to these entities, DIFS regulates credit unions, insurance companies and agents, and various consumer finance licensees and registrants. Lawson’s two-year term on the SLC commences today and will run through April 30, 2015.
Karen Lawson joined the State of Michigan as a bank examiner in 1994 and became a regional supervisor in 2003, with responsibility for overseeing a team of examiners and a portfolio of banks. In these roles, her duties included serving as the agency’s central point of contact for one of the largest state-chartered banks and for a multi-state banking organization headquartered in Michigan. Lawson has extensive experience in financial analysis, risk assessment and supervisory planning. Throughout her career, Lawson has also acted as a technology liaison, researching and overseeing the implementation of various initiatives including examination tools, databases, and secure data transmission.
Karen Lawson succeeds Charles A. Vice, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions in this position and joins the current four members of the SLC. Those members are: SLC Chairman David Cotney, Commissioner of Banks for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Thomas Candon, Deputy Commissioner of Banking and Securities of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation; Lauren Kingry, Superintendent of the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions; and Michael Mach, Division of Banking Administrator for the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
The Council was created by the Federal Financial Institutions Regulatory and Interest Rate Control Act of 1978 to prescribe uniform principles, standards, and report forms for the federal examination of financial institutions, and to make recommendations to promote uniformity in the supervision of financial institutions. It also conducts schools for examiners employed by the five federal member agencies represented on the Council and makes those schools available to employees of state agencies that supervise financial institutions.
The Council currently consists of the following six voting members: the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of Comptroller of the Currency; a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board), appointed by the Chairman of the Board; Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration; and the Chairman of the Council’s SLC. The SLC consists of five representatives of state banking agencies that supervise financial institutions and members are designated from the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, the American Council of State Savings Supervisors, the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors, and the Council. An SLC member may have his or her two-year term extended by the appointing organization for an additional, consecutive two-year term.
The FFIEC was established in March 1979 to prescribe uniform principles, standards, and report forms and to promote uniformity in the supervision of financial institutions. The Council has six voting members: a Governor of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System designated by the Chairman of the Board, the Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Chairman of the Board of the National Credit Union Administration, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Chairman of the State Liaison Committee. The Council's activities are supported by interagency task forces and by an advisory State Liaison Committee, comprised of five representatives of state agencies that supervise financial institutions.