Saddled with the task of governing more than a thousand different financial institutions, the Department of Financial Service will now have a new superintendent.
Linda Lacewell, the new overseer, was confirmed by the Senate in the state of New York. She was initially nominated by the New York State governor, Andrew Cuomo, following her service as his Chief of Staff after which she became the DFS’ acting superintendent.
The New York DFS is one of the first in the United States to make some effort in bringing order into the cryptocurrency sector with regulation, since 2015. Since inception, the DFS has given authorization to about nineteen different cryptocurrency startups that satisfied the DFS’ BitLicense statutes.
The DFS hopes to regulate the sector so that as much as possible, customers and investors are protected, security is ensured and criminal activity like money laundering is prevented.
Lacewell is known as an ardent supporter of innovation and hopes to use regulation not to stifle the growth of the sector but to ensure sanity and reduce exploitation. Sometime ago, while speaking on why the DFS is working tirelessly on regulation, Lacewell said:
“A regulated industry protects customers while supporting innovation and ensuring our financial services sector is a vibrant part of New York’s economy.”
The requirements for a license are known to be quite strict, even as the body seeks to support the regulated trade of cryptocurrency. Just recently in April, the DFS deprived Bittrex of a license because the firm had not fulfilled all the necessary Know-Your-Customer (KYC) requirements.
According to the DFS’ Executive Deputy Superintendent for Banking, Shirin Emami, Bittrex had an “obligation to conduct appropriate due diligence on all types of assets” and didn’t do so satisfactorily.
After the official confirmation, Lacewell put out a statement thanking the governor and all the members of the senate for the opportunity for her to continue her work. According to the statement:
“It is an honour and a privilege to be confirmed as Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services. I thank Governor Cuomo and the members of the New York State Senate for the opportunity to lead this essential agency and I look forward to working with the entire legislature at a time when it has never been more important to protect consumers, safeguard markets, enforce the law and encourage real financial services innovation.”
Lacewell will be the third person to occupy the role of superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services. The agency was established back in 2011 and is an amalgamation of the insurance and banking agencies in the state.
Linda Lacewell is credited as the person responsible for the creation of a Cyber Division specifically dedicated to cybersecurity and consumer protection. The division will also do its best to ensure compliance from all the regulated firms as they carry out their activities.
Lacewell at a different time had explained her interest in innovation regarding financial technology, stating that the DFS is also expected to watch the fintech space for emerging technology. According to her:
“It’s actually the job of DFS not only to regulate banking and insurance, but to keep an eye out for emerging products like Bitcoin, Fintech and other areas. “It’s part of our responsibility to look there to identify those issues and to try to responsibly regulate in a careful manner.”