While the CFPB has indicated it will be monitoring FinTech innovations, it has not yet held a public event devoted to FinTech or financial innovation. Both the FTC and OCC have already held such events this year and now the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors has announced that it will be hosting a research and policy conference on financial innovation, “Online Lending to Households and Small Businesses,” in Washington, D.C. on December 2, 2016. According to the Fed, the purpose of the conference “is to bring together academics, industry participants, and policymakers to discuss current academic research related to innovations in online lending and its implications for borrowers, traditional lenders, the macroeconomy, financial stability, and regulatory policy.” Attendance at the conference is by invitation only.
In connection with the conference, the Fed has issued a call for “high quality research papers in all areas related to online lending” and has identified topics of particular interest. The topics include the characteristics of online borrowers and lenders; similarities and differences between online lenders and traditional lenders in areas such as underwriting and risk standards, production processes, technology, cost structure, and profitability; new regulatory challenges posed by the emergence of online lending; and consumer protection and online lending. The conference’s organizing committee will select papers for presentation.