Republicans in Congress on Friday launched an investigation into the management of a top US banking regulator over allegations of "widespread and entrenched" misconduct and workplace culture issues.

The investigation by Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee will examine reports of misconduct at the Federal Deposit and Insurance Corporation (FDIC) -- including the actions taken by its chairman, Martin Gruenberg.

"The Committee's investigation will focus not only on the alleged widespread and entrenched misconduct and toxic work environment, but whether this environment impacted the safety and soundness of the banking system," the lawmakers announced in a letter to Gruenberg.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that there was evidence of a "toxic work environment" at the FDIC, a top regulator which provides bank customers with deposit insurance.

The Journal investigation said that the behavior at the regulator "caused employees to flee from an agency they say enabled and failed to punish bad behavior," including sexual harassment.

Gruenberg, who has spent almost two decades at the regulator, was repeatedly questioned about these allegations during pre-planned appearances in the House and Senate earlier this week.

Gruenberg said that the FDIC has launched its own investigation into the Journal's reports, which he called "deeply disturbing and troubling."

In its announcement Friday, the House Republicans said the allegations called into question the "viability" of Gruenberg's leadership of the FDIC.

"We are concerned the FDIC, under your leadership, lacks the ability to address the problems," they wrote.