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U.S. : FDIC chief Bair to leave

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Sheila Bair, the feisty chairwoman of  Washington’s deposit insurance agency who fought the coddling of big banks in  the financial crisis, announced Monday that she would leave the agency in July  when her term expires.

Bair, 57, has headed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC),  which insures deposits and helps police banks, since June 2006.

During the financial crisis that erupted in 2008 she pressed for stronger  protections for depositors and for powers to intervene and take over banks  before they failed.

She also criticized the bailouts of larger banks using taxpayer funds, the  huge salaries and benefits paid to bank executives, and their outsized  political influence in Washington.

Helped by her push, the new Dodd-Frank rules on financial institution  regulation in 2010 gave the FDIC more powers to intervene in weak banks and  non-bank financial institutions.

In July 2008 she was named by Forbes magazine the world’s second most  powerful woman after German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Bair’s departure will be effective July 8, the FDIC said.

Washington, May 9, 2011 (AFP)