March 17, 2019
Have you heard of fintech? It can help with your finances, but beware of these risks
Article by Russ Wiles | Arizona Republic, March 17, 2019
Featuring commentary on the recent NCLC report (see below) and mention of the Arizona fintech Regulatory Sandbox Program
Why are fintechs getting a regulatory pass?
BankThink Article by B. Dan Berger | American Banker, March 12, 2019
March 11, 2019
New Report Examines the Benefits and Potential Risks of Fintech Products for Consumers
"FINTECH AND CONSUMER PROTECTION: A Snapshot" | Lauren Saunders | National Consumer Law Center | March 2019.
The NCLC Urges Regulators and Policymakers to Maintain Consumer Protections and Proceed with Caution
February 18, 2019
Sen. Angela Paxton files bill that would allow her husband, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, to issue exemptions from securities regulations
Article by Emma Platoff | The Texas Tribune | Feb 16, 2019
"Billed as a consumer protection effort, the proposal would allow approved individuals to serve as investment advisers without registering with the state board — a felony under Texas law that Ken Paxton was charged with in 2015." and "Senate Bill 860, filed Friday, would create within the attorney general’s office an entirely new program — what the bill calls a “regulatory sandbox"
February 15, 2019
Indentured servitude makes a comeback with payday lending
Editorial in The Arizona Range News | Feb 15, 2019
The New Way to Deregulate points out that "Offering exemptions from many consumer protection rules is meant to spur fintech innovation, but it could lead to abuse."
The New Way to Deregulate by Paula Dwyer | Bloomberg Business | Feb 15, 2019
February 14, 2019
"The Trump administration is helping payday lenders through weak law enforcement and deregulation"
Payday Lenders Sure Have A Cozy Relationship With The Trump Administration | Arthur Delany | Huffpost | Feb 14, 2019
Will Hacienda HealthCare finally kill Gov. Doug Ducey's #CutTheRedTape crusade?
Op-Ed in the Arizona Republic | Elvia Diaz | Feb 14, 2019
In this Op-Ed, Elvia Diaz asks "Will [Governor] Ducey and the Republican-controlled Legislature reconsider their penchant to ease government regulations?". Jean Ann Fox, a resident of Prescott, AZ and formerly Director of Financial Services at the Consumer Federation of America sent this letter to the editor in reply.
Letter to the Editor,
February 14, 2019
To answer Elvia Diaz’ question “what will end anti-regulation crusade?” (Opinions, 2/14/19), perhaps having a money transmitter abscond with consumers’ money or having a cryptocurrency exchange hacked, losing all the coins held for customers with no recourse.
Last year Arizona created a regulatory “sandbox” in the Attorney General’s Office to permit financial companies to operate without a license while testing “innovative” products or services. Sandbox players include money transmitters who are not required by the law enacted last year to comply with any of the safety and soundness rules that apply to licensed money transmitters. No surety bond, no cash on hand, no limit on how the public’s funds can be invested apply by law to money transmitters and cryptocurrency exchanges in Arizona’s sandbox.
So far, only three companies are playing in the sandbox, with one of them a money transmitter that does not even hold consumers’ money in an FDIC-insured account. Has the Attorney General required this company to have a bond or adequate funds on hand? Nobody knows, since the AG denies all Public Records requests for information on his actions.
This year the legislature is moving bills to make the sandbox bigger (HB 2177) and to expand the idea from financial services to real estate products that would not need a license (HB 2673). The House Commerce Committee voted out a bill (HB 2146) this week that would permit companies to operate without a state or local government license if contracts were for up to $6,000 and the service was performed essentially electronically, with a few exceptions. The crusade to wipe out Arizona’s consumer protections and regulatory oversight of the market is charging forward at the legislature.
Jean Ann Fox