WH nominates Landon to Fed board

The White House on Tuesday nominated community banker Allan Landon to the Federal Reserve Board. 

Landon, who retired in 2010 from the helm of the Bank of Hawaii, would fill one of two empty slots on the seven-member Fed board if confirmed by the Senate.

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“Allan Landon has the proven experience, judgment and deep knowledge of the financial system to serve at the Federal Reserve during this important time for our economy," President Obama said in a statement.  

"He brings decades of leadership and expertise from various roles, particularly as a community banker."

Last spring, a bipartisan group of senators specifcally called for Obama to appoint someone from the community banking industry.  

One of those lawmakers, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee that vets Fed nominations, said Landon "has solid community banking experience, and I look forward to meeting with him and hearing about his priorities for the Fed.”

The banking community also backed the long-awaited move. 

Camden Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America, said he was pleased with the nomination of a leader in his industry.

“Landon’s experience as the CEO of a community bank and his broader sector experience will bring a much-needed community bank perspective to the board’s deliberations,” Fine said in a statement.

“Having someone with community bank experience, such as Landon, on the board will ensure that community bank interests are more fully understood as the board considers the impact of its policies on smaller banks and the communities and rural areas they serve."

Frank Keating, president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, said his group “has long advocated for community banking expertise" on the Fed board.

"Allan Landon’s background and experience would help ensure the Federal Reserve has a full perspective on both bank regulatory issues and broader economic policy," Keating said in a statement.

The Fed has been without a community banking representative for nearly a year and the industry has pushed for an appointment. 

Justin Schardin, an associate director at Bipartisan Policy Center, questioned what slot Landon would take, which would determine the length of his term.

“We do not yet know whether the president plans to nominate Landon for the seat vacated by Sarah Bloom Raskin 299 days ago in March, or the one vacated by Jeremy Stein 223 days ago in May,” he said in a blog post on Tuesday.

Raskin’s term expires on Feb. 1, 2016, while Stein’s expires two years later.

Schardin said that if the history serves as a guide, the Senate confirmation process will again be lengthy.

A year ago, the president made three nominations — Stanley Fischer, Lael Brainerd and Jerome Powell — that took an average of 142 days to confirm.

Janet Yellen was confirmed 89 days after she was nominated to lead the bank, according to Schardin.

The central bank, which has been operating on a nearly constant rotation of vacancies over the past several years, has a hefty agenda this year. 

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen will lead the bank through plans to reduce its more than $4 trillion balance sheet and raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.

Landon is a partner in Community BanCapital, a community bank investment fund based in Portland, Ore. He also is a director of MidFirst Bank in Oklahoma City and he is an adjunct instructor at the universities of Utah and Hawaii.  

The Bank of Hawaii it was selected as the "Best Bank in America" in 2009 and 2010.

This story was updated at 6 p.m.