Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Director of Competition Christopher Woolard testified today before the House Financial Services Committee’s Fintech Working Group.
Other witnesses who attended the hearing included:
- Paul Watkins, Deputy Director, Office of Innovation, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB)
- Beth Knickerbocker, Director of Innovation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
- Valerie Szczepanik, Associate Director of the Division of Corporation Finance and Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
- Charles E. Clark, Director, Department of Financial Institutions, Washington State, on behalf of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS)
The newly formed task force is designed to seek solutions to encourage benevolent innovation in the financial services industry. Announced by Chair of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters in May, the bipartisan committee will hold hearings for lawmakers to better understand innovations in financial services.
Woolard, as a member of the world’s leading FinTech facilitation regulator, provided valuable non-U.S. Perspective to committee members. As the regulatory ecosystem is less fragmented in the UK, the two jurisdictions can provide a good contrast. The UK is widely recognized as the gold standard for change.
In the United States, financial services must submit to a dozen federal regulators as well as 50 different state regulators who are loath to reduce their political influence. The US regulatory system is convoluted and Byzantine at its best.
In the UK, the FCA is the primary regulator when it comes to much of the financial services industry, acting as a focal point for innovation.
While Woolard’s opening testimony was brief, he provided the presentation below for committee members to review.
A handful of other US federal regulators, besides the four mentioned above, were unable to attend.