Editor’s note: This interview first appeared in Human Capital, a newsletter by Washington Bureau Chief Melanie Waddell about the people who shape the financial regulatory space.
Fintech policy was the big debate in Washington recently during the Financial Services Roundtable’s FinTech Ideas Festival, with former Google Chief Information Officer Douglas Merrill supporting more regulation and Cathy Bessant, chief tech guru for Bank of America, citing a notable tidbit for all of us parents with kids headed (eventually) to college.
“By 2020, in cyber disciplines alone, we’ll be deficit 1.5 million jobs — i.e., where we’ve got jobs and no workers,” Bessant said on May 1. The message for college-bound kids: “Go into cyber!”
This week’s Human Capital highlights key takeaways from Merrill and Bessant during the fintech event, which included a lot of talk about artificial intelligence. But I also checked in with Joe Ziemer, vice president of policy at Betterment, later in the week to get his view on where fintech regulation is heading.
(Brief mentions of the looming European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) were also made at the FSR fintech event.)
Fintech companies, Ziemer said, “are generally working to make financial products and services more accessible, more efficient and available at a lower cost,” so fintech “is too broad of a term to state whether or not more regulation is needed.”
In Ziemer’s mind, firms “should be regulated based on what they specifically do.” Digital advisory firm Betterment, for instance, is “appropriately regulated like any standard advisory firm.”