ABA seeks industry-focused approach to AI policy

As regulators develop policy for artificial intelligence, they should adopt an industry-focused approach in order to minimize the effects to businesses that already have a history of complying with laws and regulations related to the technology, the American Bankers Association said today in comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The association also said that it is imperative that policymakers recognize the unique role that banks play in the economy, and their long history with AI from both business and compliance perspectives.

NTIA in April issued a request for comment on AI system accountability measures and policies, with the agency planning to use the comments to draft a report on the subject. Understanding the different roles of the parties in the AI ecosystem is a critical component of a federal AI accountability policy, ABA said in its letter. Banks—as deployers of the technology—should continue to be supervised by banking regulators, but there must be an additional regulatory layer to oversee the vendors that would be building and maintaining AI programs, the association said.

ABA stressed that any AI policy must implement comparable controls to historically unregulated and underregulated sectors, and that regulation should be risk-based and tailored to specific use cases. “It is imperative that regulators examine nonbank actors that offer financial products and services to consumers with the same vigor that they do banks,” the association said. “These nonbank actors include Big Tech firms that are increasingly acting in bank-like ways and are certainly utilizing AI to mobilize their vast quantities of data in order to do so. This consistent enforcement would ensure that consumers remain protected wherever they choose to receive their financial services.”