High-profile enforcement actions by New York Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin M. Lawsky were noticed by both the public and the industries he oversees, but his less touted work in banking, insurance, consumer protection and virtual currency regulations also will leave a lasting mark.

In his approximately four years at the helm Lawsky has managed to leave a legacy— particularly in the debt collection and virtual currency areas.

“It is rare that we ever hear very much about accomplishments of the heads of state banking departments,” said Alan Kaplinsky, the head of Ballard Spahr LLP’s consumer financial services group. “Almost every day, there are reports about new initiatives of the New York DFS.”

Lawsky took charge of the DFS in 2011 with a directive to combine the state’s banking and insurance regulators. Just given the firms they regulated, those two agencies wielded a significant amount of power; Lawsky took it up a notch, turning the agency into a powerhouse for financial and insurance regulations as well as enforcement.

“Lawsky certainly made a huge impact as a regulator, enforcer and supervisor. And he did it within a short period of time for a brand-new agency,” Kaplinsky said.

Related Practices

Bank Regulation and Supervision
Consumer Financial Services