Linda Lacewell, the recently confirmed Superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services, detailed in a recent interview that she will prioritize fintech and consumer protection. True to her word, NYDFS announced the creation of a new Research and Innovation Division led by Matthew Homer, who was most recently Head of Policy and Research at Quovo.

The Research and Innovation Division is tasked with keeping pace with changes in financial technology and developing a long-term plan for NYDFS’s regulatory efforts in the emerging industry. The Division, among other responsibilities, will license and supervise digital currency companies, and assess new efforts to use technology to address financial exclusion and protect consumers’ data rights.

Lacewell’s remarks and the establishment of the new Division come as no surprise. In April 2019, she consolidated the Enforcement and Financial Frauds Division and the Consumer Protection Division into a newly formed Consumer Protection and Financial Enforcement Division that houses supervision, enforcement, and consumer education under the same roof.

These changes indicate that NYDFS will compete with the FTC and the CFPB to be the leading regulator in the fintech space.

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