Azher Abbasi, head of supervision at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco — and a key official with direct oversight over failed Silicon Valley Bank — will retire at the end of October, the regional reserve bank announced this week.
Abbasi and Mary Daly, president of the San Francisco Fed, came under scrutiny after a post-mortem report undertaken by the Federal Reserve found problems with how SVB was supervised.
“Regulatory standards for SVB were too low, the supervision of SVB did not work with sufficient force and urgency, and contagion from the firm’s failure posed systemic consequences not contemplated by the Federal Reserve’s tailoring framework,” the Fed’s May report stated.
Abbasi is the first Fed official associated with SVB’s March failure to leave their role.
The San Francisco Fed declined to share additional details with CNN about Abbasi’s departure. Abbasi did not respond to CNN’s request for comment regarding his retirement nor any scrutiny he has received.
Outside of the report, there have been concerns about potential conflicts of interest regarding Greg Becker, the former CEO of SVB, serving as a director on the San Francisco Fed board, potentially having a say over how SVB was supervised. He departed from his role shortly after the bank failed.
A spokesperson for the San Francisco Fed told CNN that Becker and other members of the regional bank’s board “have no involvement in matters related to banking supervision.”
Niel Willardson will assume Abbasi responsibilities as interim executive vice president starting October 1. Willardson previously worked at the Minneapolis Fed in a variety of positions from 1990 to 2022, including as senior vice president for supervision, regulation and credit for eight years.
In an effort to reduce the cost of bank failures like SVB, on Tuesday the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation proposed new rules aimed at bolstering midsized and regional banks’ capital levels.
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