The Federal Reserve’s head of bank supervision in San Francisco, which had oversight of failed lender Silicon Valley Bank, will depart at the end of October.
(Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve’s head of bank supervision in San Francisco, which had oversight of failed lender Silicon Valley Bank, will depart at the end of October.
Azher Abbasi, executive vice president of the supervision and credit group at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, will retire on Oct. 31, a San Francisco Fed spokesperson said in an email Monday. Niel Willardson, a former Minneapolis Fed official, will replace him as interim executive vice president Oct. 1.
Abbasi, along with San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly, came under scrutiny in March following the sudden collapse of SVB and other lenders. Those episodes revealed management shortcomings at the regional Fed outpost, which is responsible for the on-the-ground supervision of small and medium-sized banks.
Abbasi didn’t respond to emailed requests for comment. The bank didn’t immediately respond to questions on the timing of Abbasi’s departure.
Abbasi joined the San Francisco Fed in 2015 as the audit group’s vice president and general auditor and was promoted to senior vice president in 2016, according to his biography on the San Francisco Fed’s website.
The regional Fed bank has been scrutinized by the Fed board in Washington, Congress and the Government Accountability Office for its oversight.
A report led by Michael Barr, the Fed’s vice chair for supervision, said the failure of SVB exposed lapses in oversight, and called for an extensive reevaluation of requirements for US financial firms.
Barr’s report, however, didn’t name any individual Fed officials or staffers who were responsible for those lapses, and he told lawmakers in May that no Fed employees had been removed from their jobs in the wake of SVB’s collapse.
A separate GAO report in April was more critical of foot-dragging on SVB, saying the San Francisco Fed’s actions “lacked urgency.”
Willardson worked at the Minneapolis Fed bank from 1990 until 2022, according to the bank’s website. He served as senior vice president over supervision, regulation and credit for eight years. He was named general counsel in 2005.
(Updates with more details starting in second paragraph. An earlier version was corrected to remove reference to First Republic Bank from the first paragraph.)
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