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Everyday online, nonbank financial institutions are forming and leveraging technology to reach millions of consumers—lending, financial management, mobile payments, saving, etc. But rapid fintech growth and innovation may be accompanied by familiar financial practices and consumer harms, such as high-cost lending, privacy violations, misuse of consumer data, and restrictive terms, including forced arbitration. In addition, states and the federal government are proposing and launching projects called “sandboxes” that purportedly give fintech entities room to grow but may actually shield them from complying with established consumer laws.
What You Will Learn
- How fintech is impacting the financial services being offered to consumers.
- How fintech approaches are affecting consumers’ rights and protections, in new and also familiar ways.
- How the evolving legal and regulatory landscape, including “sandboxes” and “no-action” letters for financial institutions, may impact federal and state consumer protections.
- What advocates can do in their states to help protect their consumer laws from a fintech assault.
Lauren Saunders is the Associate Director of the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC). She runs NCLC’s Washington, DC office and directs its federal policy work.
Christine Hines is Legislative Director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA).