Donald Trump’s advisers are considering the co-founder of Grapevine-based Bank of the West to fill a Federal Reserve Board seat set aside for a community banker, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Cynthia Blankenship, vice chairman and chief financial officer at Bank of the West, is being considered for the position along with Jeff Dick, CEO of MainStreet Bancshares, and Republican Rep. French Hill of Arkansas, the sources said.
Both Blankenship and Dick have had meetings with the incoming president’s team, said the people, who asked that they not be named because the discussions are private.
Trump hasn’t yet announced his plans and there’s no guarantee any of the interviewed candidates will be hired. Blankenship declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Hill. Dick hasn’t responded to requests for comment.
Fed governors are selected by the president and subject to Senate confirmation. Under a 2014 law, one seat is designated to be filled by someone with community bank experience. The other nomination could go to Trump’s choice for vice chairman of supervision, a high-profile job that has gone unfilled during the Obama administration.
Banks are keenly focused on Trump’s picks for the Fed, but especially on who gets the supervision post. The governor in that role could have major influence on whether Wall Street banks succeed in dialing back Dodd-Frank Act rules that they say have stunted economic growth.
Blankenship has served as a director of the Independent Community Bankers of America and has frequently represented the bank and the industry group’s interests in Washington, including by testifying at hearings on Capitol Hill.
Hill also has been considered for vice chairman of supervision, according to the people. Other candidates for that post include David Nason, who worked for the Treasury Department during the 2008 financial crisis and is now CEO of GE Energy Financial Services. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig, a former Federal Reserve Bank president, also has been discussed. Trump’s advisers have also consulted with bankers including John Allison, the former CEO of BB&T Corp., as they consider Fed positions.