James Watkins - Senior Managing Director
Former Senior Deputy Director of Supervisory Examinations – FDIC
Former Deputy Regional Director – FDIC New York

BS, James Madison University
MBA, University of Massachusetts, Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management
Graduate of the Stonier School of Banking

James C. Watkins

Senior Managing Director

James C. Watkins has nearly four decades of domestic and international bank regulatory experience. Mr. Watkins may be the only senior official to have served the FDIC through the bank and thrift crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, the Great Recession’s financial and banking crisis of 2008 to 2013, and the pandemic of 2020. He is a recognized expert on crisis management, credit risk assessments, liquidity strategies, operational risks, bank stress testing, resolution plans, prudential regulatory standards, and complex regulatory applications. Mr. Watkins also has expertise in community banking and the formation of new banks.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Watkins was Senior Deputy Director of Supervisory Examinations leading all FDIC safety and soundness programs nationally.  In this capacity, he led units responsible for the regulatory and deposit insurance oversight of community and large banks.  Mr. Watkins was a key advisor to the Chairman, Board members, and others on significant policy initiatives; complex, unique or sensitive matters; banking conditions and trends, and strategies for addressing troubled banks.  Regulatory programs overseen under Mr. Watkins’ authority included remediation for severely troubled institutions and organizations, leadership of Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) activities, issuance of enforcement actions on culpable individuals, development of the current large bank examination strategies, and processing of complex applications. He has also participated in international policy development while he represented the FDIC as a member of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s Supervision and Implementation Group.

Prior to serving as Senior Deputy Director, Mr. Watkins was Deputy Director of Supervisory Examinations at the FDIC, having joined the Washington Office at the height of the financial crisis in 2010. As Deputy Director, he directed initiatives that resulted in streamlined enforcement actions, reduced processing times, and lowered resolution costs; strengthened the processes to reduce the number of problem banks; and arranged for the orderly resolution of hundreds of banks. He also provided guidance and oversight of FDIC’s problem and failing bank units, BSA/AML programs, and enforcement action and application areas.

Mr. Watkins rose to his role at FDIC’s headquarters from New York, where he served as Deputy Regional Director. This role involved directing risk management supervisory programs in Mid-Atlantic states, managing bank programs, evaluating financial and banking trends, developing supervisory responses for banks in areas of increasing concern, and serving as Agency spokesperson in the region. Before serving as Deputy Regional Director in New York, Mr. Watkins served in executive roles at the FDIC’s Atlanta office.

Mr. Watkins, a CPA, holds an M.B.A. from University of Massachusetts, Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management and a B.S., cum laude, from James Madison University.  He is also a graduate of the Stonier School of Banking.