FDIC Scandal Reveals Strip Clubs, Excessive Drinking Culture

The Wall Street Journal has carried out an investigation into FDIC’s work culture, leading to a media controversy involving employees and their supervisors within the agency.

In a recent exposé titled “Strip Clubs, Lewd Photos and a Boozy Hotel: The Toxic Atmosphere at Bank Regulator FDIC” published by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a male FDIC supervisor in San Francisco invited the employees to outings at a strip club.

Amazingly, there is another story of a supervisor in Denver having intercourse with an employee, and then gossiping about it to other colleagues while also encouraging her to drink whiskey throughout the workday.

In addition, the report highlighted various cases of “sexy selfies” Senior bank examiners reportedly sent female employees as clear demonstrations of the toxicity that had developed within the FDIC’s culture of heavy drinking.

The WSJ investigations revealed that at the core of FDIC’s toxic work culture involves an 11-story hotel located outside Washington.

The hotel was built to be used by outsourcing agents who traveled to training sessions but did not have a residence in Washington and was described as a party hub — with several reported incidents of elevator vomitings and rooftop urinations after many of their get-togethers.

The cost to construct the hotel and training complex exceeded $100 million, and according to the FDIC, it was built in the 1980s to save the company money. The WSJ discovered that an Instagram account in 2021 stated, “If you did not vomit from up on the roof, have you ever actually been a FIS?”

One ex-examiner-in-training, Lauren Lemmer, shed light on what she claimed was “the culture at the FDIC.”

Lemmer, who resigned in 2013 after 3 years of feeling like she was not getting promoted opportunities, said that she was followed to her Dallas hotel room by a fellow male employee during training, and received multiple invites to a strip club in Seattle from fellow bank examiners, and was sent an unsolicited nude photo of a colleague.

The FDIC is also facing criticism about how it handled the closure of the Silicon Valley Bank and other big financial firms this year. Travis Hill, the FDIC vice chairman and one of the two Republicans on its five-member board admitted to the slow pace of setting up a platform for interested bidders to review SVB’s finances after closing it down on March 10.

Silicon Valley Bank shut down by regulators, FDIC