On May 9, 2019, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) announced that the House Committee on Financial Services will launch two task forces focused on financial technology (fintech) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Fintech Task Force
The Task Force on Financial Technology will be chaired by Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-MA). The fintech task force will focus on the topics regulating the Fintech sector, using alternative data for loan underwriting and modifications, assessing the infrastructure and framework for efficient payments, and challenges to data privacy.
Rep. Lynch states:
We are witnessing an exciting evolution in the financial services space, which will vastly improve the use and quality of services in lending, payments and money management. The lives of consumers are changing with user-friendly financial service apps but these emerging technologies come with vulnerabilities and the need to reevaluate our consumer protection standards. As we explore the future of financial services, this bipartisan task force will give us the opportunity to educate Congress on the opportunities and challenges posed by these technologies and what we can do to produce the best outcomes for consumers.
AI Task Force
The Task Force on Artificial Intelligence will be chaired by Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) . The AI task force will focus on machine learning in financial services and regulation, emerging risks in algorithms and big data, combatting fraud and digital identification technologies, and the impact of automation on jobs in financial services.
Rep. Foster states:
Developments in AI are at the forefront of innovation that is changing the way Americans operate in the marketplace, how we think about identity security, and how we do business with financial institutions. It is affecting everything from how we access our money to how we apply for mortgages and make financial investments. AI has the potential to help break down barriers and make it easier for entrepreneurs, aspiring homeowners, and consumers to interact with banks and utilize financial services, but it is crucial that the application of AI to financial services contributes to an economy that is fair for all Americans. I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues to better understand how we can utilize AI to maintain the competitiveness of our nation’s financial services sector and how it translates into building a financial system that works for everyone.
This announcement was released in the same week as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for debt collection. While the task forces are focused on the financial services industry at large, it’s interesting that the announcement came out almost contemporaneously to a set of proposed regulatory rules—strongly critized by Chairwoman Waters—that provide for the use of modern technology in the debt collection space.
[Update 05/14/2019: While the press release issued for these task forces contained a listing of only Democrat members, insideARM was updated that the task forces contain representatives from both sides of the aisle. The above article was edited to reflect this. The members of the two task forces can be found in the final resolutions, which are linked in the respective portions of this article.]