Under the Dome

Longtime bank regulator reappointed

Gov. Pat McCrory announced Monday he has reappointed longtime banking regulator Ray Grace as commissioner of banks.

The N.C. Bankers Association immediately expressed its support of Grace.

“As I travel the state, bankers continually praise the work being performed by the North Carolina Office of the Commissioner of Banks under the leadership of Ray Grace,” Peter Gwaltney, president and CEO of the association, said in a statement. “I hear time and time again from our members that Commissioner Grace is a man of great integrity with a profound knowledge of our industry.”

Grace has worked for the state banking agency for more than 40 years. Gov. Bev Perdue appointed him commissioner in 2012 to complete the term of Joseph A. Smith, who resigned to take a job as monitor for a national foreclosure settlement. Upon taking office in 2013, McCrory retained Grace to finish Smith’s term, which expires March 31. This reappointment is for a new four-year term.

“Ray Grace is a tremendous asset to North Carolina’s banks, and his extensive experience and past achievement are reflected in his work as Commissioner,” McCrory said in a statement. “His continued service is greatly valued and appreciated.”

The General Assembly will have to approve the appointment.

Grace’s office is responsible for the chartering and regulation of North Carolina’s state banks, trust companies, mortgage companies, as well as registration and licensing of various financial institutions operating in North Carolina.

McCrory was on the board of directors at one mortgage company, Tree.com, until shortly after he took office in early 2013. In four years as a director, McCrory was paid more than $600,000 in director’s fees, dividends and stocks from the company, including about $170,000 in an accelerated vesting of stock that was paid the day before he resigned, according to the Associated Press.