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Senior ICANN staffer hired by .bank project

Craig Schwartz, ICANN’s chief gTLD registry liaison, has been headhunted by BITS, the tech arm of the Financial Services Roundtable, to head up its .bank top-level domain application.

Schwartz will become BITS’ general manager of registry programs in early July, following the conclusion of the next ICANN meeting in Singapore.

BITS has yet to reveal the TLDs it plans to apply for, but .bank is the no-brainer. I understand it is also considering complementary strings, such as .finance and .insurance

The organization has already said that it plans to use VeriSign as its back-end registry services provider.

Schwartz is a five-year ICANN veteran, and his experience dealing with registries will no doubt be missed, particularly at a time when the number of gTLDs is set to expand dramatically.

His replacement will have plenty of time to settle into the role, however. The first new gTLDs approved under the program are not likely to go live until late 2012 at the earliest.