February 9, 2015

NC Commissioner of Banks Ray Grace Re-Appointed

Commissioner Ray Grace -photo by M. Cordell
Today, Governor McCrory appointed Ray Grace to serve as North Carolina's Commissioner of Banks for another term.  Although Commissioenr Grace has been "appointed," the process actually works like a nomination; His appointment must be confirmed by each house of the General Assembly. 

After serving in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, Grace graduated from college and immediately joined the Office of the Commissioner of Banks as a trainee examiner in 1974. He has served in various roles over the years, and has deep experience in the regulation and supervision of North Carolina financial institutions. 

After former Commissioner Joseph A. Smith, Jr., resigned effective February 16, 2012 to become the nationwide mortgage settlement czar, then-Governor Beverly Purdue appointed Grace, then Deputy Commissioner, to serve as Acting Commissioner. Under the banking statute in effect at the time, Governor Purdue was required to submit the name of a permanent successor to the General Assembly within four weeks. She nominated Ray Grace by the end of the month, and he became Acting Commissioner. However, as I predicted back in February of 2012, the confirmation process took much, much longer.  Governor McCrory re-nominated Acting Commissioner Grace more than a year later, in March of 2013. The Senate approved on May 15, 2013, and the House approved on June 6, 2013.  Commissioner Grace's initial term was the remainder of what would have been Joe Smith's final term, expiring March 31, 2015.  

Under the new banking statute, Governor McCory was required to appoint a Commissioner of Banks by February 1.  Apparently it took a few days for that appointment to be publicly announced.  Assuming he is confirmed by the General Assembly, the Commissioner's term will continue for four years (until March 31, 2019).