Nov 16, 2023 - News

FDIC investigates claims of toxic culture, "boozy" hotel in Arlington

A gray marble wall with a giant logo for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Photo: Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

An alleged toxic work environment at the FDIC has included heavy drinking, lewd photos, and its own "boozy hotel" in Arlington, according to a Wall Street Journal investigation.

Why it matters: The FDIC has been hesitant to tamp down on a "sexualized, boys' club environment" that led many women to quit, according to the Journal's interviews with more than 100 current and former employees.

What's happening: The FDIC hired the law firm BakerHostetler to examine allegations of harassment and discrimination, after the report was published on Monday, the Journal reported.

  • A "top-to-bottom assessment" would be conducted, said FDIC chair Martin Gruenberg.

Zoom in: The agency owns an 11-story hotel in the Virginia Square neighborhood that turned into a party hub. Out-of-town employees stay there when attending training.

  • Nights of heavy drinking have led to reports of people vomiting in the elevator and urinating off the roof, per the Journal.
  • An Instagram account posted in 2021: "If you haven't puked off the roof, were you ever really a FIS?" (Short for Financial Institution Specialist.)

The big picture: The behavior was widespread across the country, according to the investigation.

  • A male supervisor in San Francisco invited staffers to a strip club, in one example. Senior staffers sent pictures of their genitalia to female employees.

Of note: Employees travel often as part of their jobs regulating banks.


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