Olympia – The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Director Charlie Clark testified in D.C. yesterday, reminding the U.S. House Financial Services Committee's Task Force on Fintech Regulation that state regulators have the expertise and “boots on the ground” knowledge necessary to effectively and efficiently regulate the growing fintech industry.
As chair of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) Non-depository Supervisory Committee, Clark testified on behalf of CSBS on a panel of regulators.
“State financial regulators play a critical role in protecting consumers and making sure fintechs and other licensees comply with our consumer laws,” Clark told members of the task force.
In his testimony, Clark noted “State regulators are locally accountable, sitting in close proximity to consumers and the communities they are charged with protecting. This perspective makes us uniquely situated to recognize and act upon consumer financial protection issues. When consumers have an issue, they contact us first. Our goal is to help prevent consumer harm before it happens.”
For consumers, Clark said, the value of fintech is in saving time, ease of use and no- or low-cost products that allow us to move money across the country – or globe - with the flick of a finger, fill out loan applications online, or pay bills during work days without ever leaving the office. A state regulator’s job is to ensure those transactions are safe and comply with state and federal laws.
While updating the committee on the CSBS Vision 2020 initiatives, Clark had the opportunity to highlight the multi-state licensing agreement for financial services companies Washington DFI coordinated as a pilot for CSBS.
“Washington and state regulators have a great story to tell when it comes to embracing fintech,” Clark said. “It was an honor to share Washington’s story.”
Read Clark’s full testimony.