Abuses documented in FDIC sexual misconduct report unacceptable, Yellen says

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen attends an interview with Reuters in Washington

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday said abuses documented in a report on workplace problems at the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation were totally unacceptable and not in line with the Biden administration's core values.

Yellen did not reply when asked after an event in Fredericksburg, Virginia if FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg should resign after an independent report by law firm Cleary Gottlieb cited accounts that he had engaged in bullying and verbal abuse.

But she rejected the reported behavior at the FDIC, which is an independent agency not under the supervision of Treasury.

"The kind of abuses that were documented in the report are a totally unacceptable way to treat employees at the FDIC and not in line with the core values of the Biden administration," Yellen told reporters.

The Cleary Gottlieb report, prompted by a Wall Street Journal investigation, cited accounts from more than 500 people.

Overall, the report painted a picture of an agency at which sexual harassment, racial discrimination and bullying were pervasive at every level and tolerated by senior leaders for years, while complaints about misconduct triggered retaliation.

The findings sparked renewed calls for the ouster of Gruenberg, a Democrat who has been a senior leader at the agency for nearly two decades.

Representative Patrick McHenry, a Republican who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, called for Gruenberg's resignation following the report, saying it made clear the agency needs new leadership.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Michael Erman)