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COMPLY2019 Recap: Hear From the Regulators

COMPLY summit conference in the city

Always a COMPLY attendee-favorite, the “Hear from the Regulators” panel was back this year with Sandy Brown from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Haimera Workie from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Paul Watkins from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), moderated by Kevin Conroy, Partner at Foley Hoag. 

These innovative regulators kicked off day 2 of COMPLY2019 by catching us up on what’s been shaping their agendas and what’s most pressing on their desks. Each regulator offered a unique perspective on how they are approaching some of the colliding forces impacting change in the regulatory environment and consumer protection including innovations, sandboxes and partnerships.

Similar to years’ past and not unexpected, the subject of innovation was top of mind for the regulators, and how their agencies are approaching it.

  • Sandy Brown shared that the FTC is shaping their investigation and enforcement practices in a way that protects consumers, while ensuring that they don’t harm pro-consumer innovation. Some actions that the FTC has taken for this includes ensuring that the streams of commerce remain as clean as possible, bringing new cases against cryptocurrencies and crowdfunding fraud, and pushing to help increase consumer confidence in the products that are being innovated.
  • Haimera Workie said that FINRA officially announced the formation of the Office of Financial Innovation earlier this year, designed to drive innovations in the space. With this, FINRA is currently focused on promoting the parts of innovation that are beneficial to investors, while also considering possible new risks that come along with this innovation. They are continuing to think about how innovation affects the market and what the implications are for that.
  • Paul Watkins expressed that the CFPB is looking at how innovation can accomplish the main goals of the bureau, while also watching the risks that may arise from new products. Watkins stated that innovation is driving fairness and transparency within the industry. The CFPB has also proposed a number of policies to accelerate the positive impacts of innovation, such as a no-action policy program, as well as the proposed adoption of sandboxes at the federal level.

All three regulators commented on how they are working to collaborate with one another, as well as other regulators from around the world. Through collaboration and partnerships, these regulators are able to gain different perspectives on the regulatory landscape and can ensure that they are not duplicative or overburdening businesses with their investigations and enforcements. 

There’s much more to learn from the Hear From the Regulators session that took place at COMPLY2019. We’ve got the on demand content for you to watch whenever you want to stay up-to-date on today’s most turbulent topics. 

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