In a speech on June 12, 2019, at CATO Summit on Financial Regulation, FDIC Chair McWilliams talked about the nation and the banking system’s role in society and economic well being. Drawing extensively from her own background and experiences as an immigrant to the United States, she noted one role of the FDIC as promoting economic inclusion.
A portion of her remarks were focused on technology and its importance in not only the regulatory space but also in expanding bank services to consumers. Noting the FDIC annual survey of the unbanked, she pointed to technology as a way to reach those who do not now benefit from traditional bank services, stating as follows:
As a matter of public policy, we should encourage banks to leverage technology to reach consumers, improve the customer experience, lower transaction costs, and increase credit availability. There is certainly an opportunity to utilize technology and innovation to both expand the availability of banking services to those who are already banked and to reach consumers who are not. Bringing consumers – particularly those who are disenfranchised – into the banking fold gives those consumers an opportunity to become a part of the system and to benefit from its offerings.
As she has done in past speeches, she again addressed reducing the regulatory burden and encouragement of bank startups.
One common issue for institutions is the uncertainty that often comes with being regulated and the lack of clear objectives and expectations. Again, as she has done in past public statements, she reiterated her commitment to addressing this unintended consequence of regulation:
Another priority of mine is to ensure that the supervisory guidance we provide is as clear and concise as possible. Last year, the FDIC rescinded nearly 60 percent of our Financial Institution Letters after determining they were outdated or redundant.
The purpose of all of these steps is to provide consistency, clarity, and common sense regulation and supervision that will enable financial institutions to serve their customers, while ensuring that the financial system remains strong and resilient.
The full text of the speech can be found here.