McWilliams: Regulators Need to Support Bank Innovation Efforts

Regulators need to understand the pressures that banks face to innovate and support those efforts, FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams said today. “As banks face pressure from nonbanks, credit unions, technology companies and from overseas as well, I just think that we as regulators need to be cognizant of the winds they are facing on their journey.”

She emphasized that the FDIC is “encourage[ing]the adoption of technology and think[ing]creatively about reaching customers,” adding that “we need to take a look at bank regulatory burdens.” She also described the FDIC’s work to modernize its own supervisory activities. Regarding the examiner of the future, she said “I think it’s going to be a data scientist. It’s going to be someone who understands algorithms.”

Speaking with reporters on the sidelines of the Clearing House/Bank Policy Institute’s annual conference, McWilliams added that the FDIC is well into its process of hiring a chief innovation officer and that the agency is looking for someone with deep tech experience to fill the role.