FDIC's Gruenberg a contender to replace Bair: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Martin Gruenberg, the vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, is in line to be a possible successor to Chairman Sheila Bair after she steps down later this year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Bair, who has served as FDIC chairman since 2006, has played a pivotal role in the development of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. She has not been afraid to speak out throughout the process, even when her views were directly at odds with those of top administration officials.

Under the Dodd-Frank law, the FDIC won broad new authority to break apart troubled large non-bank financial firms.

Bair's term expires in a few months, after which she has said she will likely pursue a position in academia or the nonprofit world.

Gruenberg has served as vice chairman of the FDIC since 2005. Previously, he worked as a senior counsel to Senator Paul Sarbanes. According to the Wall Street Journal, his strong views on consumer protection could raise concern among bankers, who fear the government has cracked down too hard.

If the president did nominate Gruenberg, he would still need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Andrew Gray, an FDIC spokesman, declined to comment.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch, Dave Clarke and Caren Bohan, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)