New York’s Superintendent of Financial Services, Linda Lacewell, announced on July 23, 2019, that the Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has created a new arm of the agency called the Research and Innovation Division. The new division, which will be led by Executive Deputy Superintendent Matthew Homer, will be tasked with adapting to innovation in banking, insurance and regulatory technologies. The new division appears to be the fruition of Superintendent Lacewell’s plan, as revealed in an interview with the New York Law Journal, to hire a dedicated FinTech expert to oversee the long-term plan for the regulation of FinTech at the NYDFS.
Establishing the Research and Innovation Division is another in a series of organizational moves made by the new Superintendent. In April, the NYDFS created a new Consumer Protection and Enforcement Division, headed by Katherine Lemire. Then in May, the agency organized the new Cybersecurity Division, headed by Justin Herring. Taken together with the agency’s implementation of the BitLicense, the first state licensing framework for virtual currency businesses, the NYDFS appears poised to take a strong lead in the regulation of FinTech.