Advancing the safe & smart use of technology & data in financial services

FinRegLab

An independent
innovation center

FinRegLab is a nonprofit innovation center that tests new technologies and data to inform public policy and drive the financial sector toward a responsible and inclusive financial marketplace. With our research insights, we facilitate discourse across the financial ecosystem to inform public policy and market practices.

Our Process

We provide a platform for policymakers and financial stakeholders to identify fintech and regtech areas for examination, and we collaborate with financial innovators and researchers to deliver timely and actionable insights to inform and advance policy discussions.

Policy Topic

We identify key topics in partnership with policymakers and input from other stakeholders.

Experiment

We collaborate with experts and researchers to design and field high-priority, policy-relevant experiments.

Discourse

We share the facts and insights with stakeholders to inform public policy.

Policy Topic

We engage directly with policymakers and regulators to identify priority topics, and we work with industry, academics, and advocacy stakeholders to inform and participate in our experiments. We give consideration to a prospective experiment’s timeliness for policy impact; ability to improve regulatory harmonization; and the extent to which it advances marketplace outcomes that improve consumers’ and small businesses’ financial well-being and increase financial inclusion.

Experiment

We leverage our scalable technical capacity and legal acumen to undertake balanced experiments that produce actionable insights for policymakers and other stakeholders. For the financial sector and innovators, we serve as a trusted intermediary to explore and evaluate the applications of technology and data and the implications for public policy.

Discourse

We share updates and findings throughout the key phases of our research. At the conclusion of a major research undertaking, we convene the primary experiment stakeholders from regulators and industry, along with academic experts and advocates, to review and discuss the research insights and the policy implications. Following our working group discussions, we elevate the dialogue and share our research with core stakeholders and the community at large.

Research Interests

Our research priorities are informed through engagement with policymakers and with input from industry, academia, and advocate groups. Below are active or prospective topics in our Lab.

Access To Credit

The potential use of alternative data in underwriting and marketing to expand responsible access to credit for consumers and small businesses.

Data Portability

The potential of consumer data portability to increase financial health through improved financial products and financial management tools.

Identity Proofing

The potential of new technologies and data to better identify and authenticate customers, reduce financial fraud, and improve financial inclusion.

Regulatory Coordination

The potential to test technologies and data to inform global, federal, and state policymakers, and to support enhanced regulatory coordination.

Recommended Reads

A selection of papers and articles that are worth your time. 

Big data meets artificial intelligence

Read Study

Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin)

Read more

On the Rise of the FinTechs—Credit Scoring using Digital Footprints

Read Paper

FDIC Center for Financial Research Working Paper No. 2018-04

Tobias Berg, Valentin Burg, Ana Gombovic and Manju Puri

Read more

Data point: The geography of credit invisibility

Read Report

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s Office of Research

Kenneth Brevoort, Jasper Clarkberg, Michelle Kambara, and Benjamin Litwin.

Read more

Our Team

Melissa Koide

CEO & Director

Prior to establishing FinRegLab, Melissa served as the U.S. Treasury Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consumer Policy where she developed and executed the Treasury Department’s consumer policies. Melissa helped to build the first government-offered preretirement savings product, the myRA, and she established the $5 million Innovation Fund to support research and strategies to improve consumers’ financial health and their access to safe and affordable financial products and services. Before joining the U.S. Treasury Department, Melissa was the Vice President of Policy at the Center for Financial Services Innovation.

Board of Directors

Jo Ann Barefoot

Board Chair

Jo Ann Barefoot is CEO of Barefoot Innovation Group, host of the podcast Barefoot Innovation, and she is Senior Fellow Emerita at the Center for Business & Government at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. Jo Ann is an investor and co-founder of the startup Hummingbird Regtech, bringing better technology to AML and fighting financial crime. She serves on the board of directors of Oportun and chairs the board of the Center for Financial Services Innovation. For three years Jo Ann served on the Consumer Advisory Board to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Marla Blow

Director

Marla Blow is the Founder and CEO of FS Card, a startup credit card company, and serves as a Partner with Fenway Summer. In February 2018, Marla joined the board of directors of Care.com, the world’s largest online marketplace for finding and managing family care. Previously, she was part of the Implementation Team to stand up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and ultimately served as the Assistant Director for Card and Payment Markets, where she shaped the CFPB’s regulatory priorities in these markets. Prior to joining the CFPB, Marla spent seven years in a variety of functions at Capital One in the credit card business. She is a Henry Crown Fellow and is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network as well as a member of the US Capital Chapter of YPO. She previously served on the Board of Directors of FactorTrust, a provider of underbanked consumer data, analytics, and risk scoring solutions. Marla holds an MBA from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Alex Acree

Director

Alex is Managing Director and General Counsel of Fenway Summer Ventures, a venture capital firm backing entrepreneurs tackling important challenges at the intersection of finance and technology. At Fenway Summer he invests in and advises a range of emerging growth companies from across the financial services industry. Prior, Alex was an attorney at a major international law firm, where he advised financial institutions on a wide range of legal and regulatory matters in connection with business combinations, reorganizations, and capital markets transactions, Dodd-Frank Act implementation, corporate governance, and compliance issues. Alex also regularly advised sponsors in connection with the formation and management of private investment funds. Earlier in his career, Alex held a series of senior positions at early-stage companies. Alex is a graduate of Boston College and holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and an MBA from Yale School of Management.  While at Yale, Alex was a director of a student clinic that helped to launch a de novo bank to cater to financially underserved communities.

Amy Friend

Director

Amy Friend was most recently Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief Counsel at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a bureau of the US Department of Treasury that regulates and supervises the federal banking system. In that capacity, Amy served on the agency’s executive committee and oversaw all of the agency’s legal activities and licensing functions. Amy led the team that developed the agency’s strategic initiative on responsible innovation resulting in the establishment of the Office of Innovation and the recently announced special purpose national bank charter for fintech companies. Before taking on this role, Amy was a Managing Director at the Promontory Financial Group where she advised financial services companies about regulatory compliance. Previously Amy held a number of positions in the US Congress, including Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs where she led the Committee’s work in crafting the Dodd-Frank Act. Amy has also served as an assistant chief counsel to the OCC, focusing on consumer privacy, data security, and credit reporting, and as an associate in the law firms of Jenner and Block, and Brownstein, Zeidman, and Schomer.

Kabir Kumar

Board Observer

Kabir leads Omidyar Network’s global policy and ecosystem building efforts. He supports both nonprofits and for-profits to create transformative solutions that improve people’s lives. Kabir joined Omidyar Network with a deep background in international development focused on financial inclusion, market-based interventions, and technology use. He was most recently with CGAP, where he led a number of initiatives over the course of 10 years including designing and implementing market-based interventions to expand responsible financial services in key South Asian markets and helping to develop and secure funding for CGAP’s digital finance strategy. Kabir began his career at The World Bank helping them to adopt a gender strategy. He has worked in over 15 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Advisors

Max Levchin

Advisor

Max Levchin is an investor and advisor to emerging technology companies. He was previously the chairman and chief executive officer of HVF, a startup lab focused on extracting insights from recordable information. He is currently the Co-Founder and CEO of Affirm, a small dollar credit lender offering credit based on alternative data for creditworthy people with thin or no credit file. Max co-founded PayPal and was its Chief Technologist for years. More recently, he co-founded Confinity Inc. in December 1998, and served as the Chief Technology Officer and a director. He also serves as chairman of the boards of directors of Yelp Inc. and Kaggle Inc., and as a director of Evernote Corporation.

Hans Morris

Advisor

Hans Morris is managing partner of Nyca Partners, a fintech VC in New York and San Francisco. He is the chairman of the board of Lending Club, and a board member of portfolio companies AvidXchange, Boomtown, Payoneer, and SigFig. Nyca has invested in several mortgage technology companies, including Blend Labs, Ethos, Scratch, and Clara. From 2010 to 2014 he was managing director and advisor at General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm. From 2007 until 2010 he served as president of Visa Inc., and from 1980 until 2007, he worked at Citigroup in several operating and management roles, including CFO and head of finance, technology, and operations for Citi’s institutional businesses, COO of the investment bank, and head of the financial services group at Salomon Smith Barney. He spent the first six years of his career working with state housing agencies, and was also head of mortgage finance at Smith Barney.

Richard Berner

Advisor

Richard Berner is Executive-in-Residence at the Center for Global Economy and Business at the NYU Stern School of Business, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Economics. He conducts research, gives talks, teaches, and helps to advance Stern’s financial stability initiatives. From 2013 until 2017, Berner served as the first Director of the Office of Financial Research (OFR), established by The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 to support the Financial Stability Oversight Council, the Council’s member organizations, and the public. From April 2011 to 2013, Berner was Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury, where he advised the Secretary on financial and regulatory issues and worked to stand up the OFR. Berner was a Managing Director, Co-Head of Global Economics and Chief U.S. Economist at Morgan Stanley from 1999 to 2011. He also held senior economist roles at Mellon Bank, Morgan Stanley, Salomon Brothers, Morgan Guaranty Trust Co., and the DC office of Wharton Econometrics. Berner served on the research staff of the Federal Reserve in Washington. He has been an Adjunct Professor of Economics at Carnegie-Mellon University and at George Washington University.

Corey Stone

Advisor

Corey Stone is a Senior Advisor to Oliver Wyman’s North American Financial Services practice in New York. He specializes in the consumer finance markets and ancillary markets for consumer data and delinquent debt. Prior, he served as an Assistant Director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he built and led an office responsible for conducting research, industry outreach, and policy development in the markets for consumer reporting, debt collection, liquidity lending, and deposit accounts. Corey was Executive Vice President of American Payment Systems (now part of Fiserv). He helped the company become the country’s largest in-person bill payment network and launch one of the first general purpose reloadable debit cards. He was also CEO of Pay Rent, Build Credit, an alternative credit reporting company that enabled lenders to access consumers’ rental and utility bill payment history for underwriting decisions. Corey was named Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Center for Financial Services Innovation in 2018 and is a member of the advisory team to the Aspen Institute’s Expanding Prosperity Impact Collaborative on Consumer Debt.

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