G. Edward Leary was appointed commissioner of the Utah Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) in 1992. The mission of DFI is to charter, regulate and supervise persons providing financial services to the citizens of Utah. The primary activity of DFI is on-site examinations of state-chartered depository institutions to determine their safety and soundness. Commissioner Leary is a strong advocate of the state banking system and preserving the innovation and flexibility of state-chartered financial institutions. The vision of the department is to establish Utah as a nationally and internationally renowned center of financial services. As of Dec. 31, 2012, the total assets of commercial and industrial banks under the department’s jurisdiction totaled $242 billion, which would make the department the fifth largest in the country.
After working in a Utah community bank for three years, Leary joined DFI in 1977 as an examiner and was rapidly promoted, holding positions as industry supervisor and chief examiner before his appointment as commissioner. Under his leadership, the department became accredited and has maintained that accreditation by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors. He fostered the development of Industrial Banks in Utah. In 2013, the department celebrated its centennial anniversary.
Leary serves as chairman of the Utah Board of Financial Institutions and is a member of the Utah Housing Corporation board. He is the past chairman of CSBS, the National Association of State Banking Supervisors; he was also chairman of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s (FFIEC) State Liaison Committee.
Leary holds a B.S. in political science with an International Relations Certificate and an MBA from the University of Utah. He retired in 1995 as a captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve after having served almost 24 years on active duty and in the reserves. He was awarded the Navy Achievement medal with a combat distinguishing device for operations off the coast of Viet Nam. Leary and his late wife have five children and 15 grandchildren. He enjoys home improvement projects and doting on his grandchildren.