Chairman and president of US Ex-Im James Lambright is to serve as the chief investment officer for the US$700bn Troubled Asset Relief Programme, otherwise known as Tarp, launched at the beginning of the month.

Lambright will take up the role on an interim basis until the position is permanently filled. He will also remain in his role at US Ex-Im.

The programme is run by the US Treasury’s newly created Office of Financial Stability, with the mandate to buy financial instruments that lack a current market such as residential and commercial mortgage loans and credit card securitisations, commonly referred to as toxic assets.

In his additional role with Tarp, Lambright will work alongside the interim assistant secretary for the office of financial stability Neel Kashkari and Secretary Henry Paulson.

However, Lambright insists his duties will in no way affect the running of the US’s export-import bank.

“The Bank’s bipartisan board and top-notch management team will ensure our customers see no change in operations,” he says.

“I will continue to provide leadership and guidance at the bank while assisting the treasury department’s critical effort to strengthen public confidence in our financial institutions and restore functioning of our credit markets.”

Following Lambright’s appointment this week, the fund’s interim assistant secretary, Neel KashKari addressed a senate banking committee hearing on October 23, announcing that since the launch of the programme he has seen clear progress in the US financial markets.

He comments: “Since the announcement of our capital purchase programme, we have seen numerous signs of improvement in our markets and in the confidence in our financial institutions. While there have been recent positive developments, the markets remain fragile.”