Department of Financial Services

Less stringent rules for startups
6:00 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Lawksy plans softer rules for Bitcoin

New York’s top banking regulator says he plans to relax pending rules set to govern Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The more startup-friendly requirements come after criticism that the state has moved too quickly to regulate the new technology.

Futurists see virtual currencies as revolutionizing the financial industry the same way the Internet has revolutionized nearly everything.

New York was the first jurisdiction to introduce rules on Bitcoin. Regulators hope to mark the path for other jurisdictions to follow.

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Cracking down on lenders and debt agencies
5:55 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

New York moves to protect troubled borrowers

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman proposes reforms to consumer debt cases in state courts with new filing requirements for collectors of so-called "zombie" debts.
Credit AP Photo

In separate actions, New York officials are cracking down on companies taking advantage of troubled borrowers. 

The Department of Financial Services issued subpoenas to nine lending companies in the state Tuesday. The state's bank regulator is investigating them for what are called "loan-to-own" schemes.

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Consumer advocates expected worse
11:34 am
Fri September 5, 2014

NY health premiums to rise $1 billion

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, gave insurance companies half of what they asked for.
Credit AP/Mike Groll

New York is allowing health insurance companies to raise premiums an average of 5.7 percent for individuals, and 6.7 percent for small groups. This is, however, roughly half of what insurance companies claimed was the cost of providing health care.

Insurance companies participating in the state's health exchange asked regulators for an average increase of around 13 percent over last year.

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$65M in "kickbacks" annually
4:53 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

NY regulators investigate mortgage empire

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York State Department of Financial Services.
Credit AP/Mike Groll

New York banking regulators are investigating one of the nation's largest non-bank mortgage servicing companies, Ocwen Financial, over worries the company is bilking $65 million a year in kickbacks from both struggling homeowners and investors.

Watchdogs are scrutinizing the controversial, but common, practice of forcing homeowners to buy overpriced property insurance once they fall behind in their mortgage payments.

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Divide over how much to regulate
7:28 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

NY Regulators will soon govern Bitcoin

Balloons bearing the bitcoin logo float above the floor at the Inside Bitcoins conference and trade show, Monday, April 7, 2014 in New York.
Credit AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

New York banking regulators are expected to release new rules this week governing Bitcoins and other virtual currencies.

Many think virtual currencies--sometimes called crypto-currencies--will soon revolutionize financial services, but until now they have been largely unregulated.

New York State is about step into this regulatory void. Within days, the Department of Financial Services will issue far-reaching rules focusing on three things: consumer protection, cyber security, and anti-money laundry rules.

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