Looking Ahead: Perspectives from the BCFP’s Office of Innovation

Paul Watkins, Director of the Office of Innovation at the Bureau for Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP), is the luncheon speaker Oct. 24 at AFSA’s upcoming Annual Meeting. 

Watkins will shed light on the Bureau’s plans in the technology space. Recent announcements regarding international cooperation and a reinvigorated disclosure “sandbox” demonstrate the Bureau’s eagerness to encourage innovation in consumer financial products and services. This session will be a unique opportunity to learn more about the Bureau’s agenda for innovation.

In his role, Watkins oversees the Bureau’s efforts to facilitate innovation, competition, and consumer access within the markets for financial products and services. He was previously the Civil Litigation Division Chief at the Arizona Office of the Attorney General where he managed the state’s litigation in areas such as consumer fraud, antitrust, and civil rights. In Arizona, he drafted and advocated for legislation establishing the first “FinTech sandbox” in the country.

Arizona AG Mark Brnovich addressed AFSA members in January at the association’s first Law & Compliance Symposium, outlining Arizona’s “FinTech sandbox,” which he described as a way to reduce regulations without stifling technology. He said this initiative would allow for fintech companies “to come up with a better mousetrap” to serve the citizens of Arizona.

 

Previously, Watkins practiced at Covington & Burling LLP in San Francisco, and Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett LLP in Palo Alto, California. He is a graduate of Hillsdale College and Harvard Law School, and a former clerk for Judge Dennis W. Shedd on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Registration for the Annual Meeting is open now at annual.afsaonline.org.