New Yorks top banking regulator Benjamin Lawsky, who used his leverage to stiffen penalties against some of the worlds largest financial institutions and also instituted policies friendly to payments startups, will probably step down next year to take a job in the private sector, said a person familiar with the matter.
Lawsky, 44, was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to head the newly formed Department of Financial Services in 2011, with a mandate to regulate state-licensed banks and insurance companies. He became widely known the following year for threatening to revoke Standard Chartered Plcs license to operate in New York after growing frustrated with the slow pace of settlement talks over sanctions violations.
He also introduced the concept of a "BitLicense" as a way to properly regulate Bitcoin businesses without shoehorning them into existing money transmitter rules. Since then, his view has evolved to treat the BitLicense process as a way to modernize regulation for all payment startups.
It isnt yet clear who Cuomo will name to fill the position after Lawsky resigns. Cuomo combined New Yorks bank regulatory department and its insurance division to create DFS in the aftermath of the financial crisis, forming a new state regulator that could monitor hybrid products marketed by all kinds of financial institutions.
He loves his job and is very busy doing it to the best of his ability each day, said Matthew Anderson, a spokesman for Lawsky. He hasnt decided on his plans for the future. Lawsky wasnt immediately available to comment on his plans.