The New York Department of Financial Services has announced the creation of a new “powerhouse” Consumer Protection and Financial Enforcement Division. The Division has been created by consolidating the Enforcement and Financial Frauds Division and Consumer Protection Division and will place supervision, enforcement, and consumer education under the same roof. The Division consists of the Enforcement Division, Investigations and Intelligence Division, Civil Investigations Unit, the Consumer Examinations Unit, and the Student Protection Unit, among others.
To head the new Division, acting Superintendent Linda Lacewell has appointed Katherine Lemire as Executive Deputy Superintendent. Ms. Lemire worked most recently in the private sector as a partner at StoneTurn, an international consulting firm, which acquired the risk and compliance firm Lemire LLC that she founded. Prior to her work in consulting, Ms. Lemire was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York and an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
The New York Department of Financial Services continues to be one of the most active state regulators and the new structure indicates a strategic focus on consumer financial services and the prioritization of enforcement as a preferred regulatory tool. New York is the second state to create a “mini” CFPB, following Pennsylvania.
The announcement comes on the heels of new student loan servicer licensing and supervision legislation enacted on April 1 and after the New York Attorney General appointed Christopher D’Angelo, formerly the CFPB’s Associate Director in charge of the Supervision, Enforcement and Fair Lending Division, as Chief Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice.