CSBS CEO on the Power of Technology

State regulators are using technology developed by CSBS to modernize how they license and supervise fintechs and other non-banks. It is allowing them to increase the quality of supervision while at the same time decrease the burden, President and CEO John Ryan tells finance innovation thought leader Jo Ann Barefoot in a recent podcast. “This is a special moment,” he says. “Technology is making supervision more robust.”

Technology performs a central role in CSBS’ Vision 2020, a series of initiatives designed to move towards an integrated, 50-state system of licensing and supervision. For instance, one initiative involves developing the next generation Nationwide Multistate Licensing System to introduce more automation and information sharing, and span regulatory activities from licensing through supervision.

Barefoot on CSBS’s approach: “On Vision 2020, let me say that CSBS’s innovativeness amazes me. I think the 2020 effort deserves its ‘visionary’ labeling…Other regulators can learn a lot from watching this model, both in how to design new systems and how to build buy-in from a complex set of stakeholders.”

Ryan offers wide-ranging advice to community lenders, including:

  • On bank culture: “Adopt innovation cultures. I think it’s going to be a survival skill to be good at innovating. And it’s not that easy.”
  • On staying current with technology-savvy customers: “Be in tune with what technology your customers are using elsewhere in their lives. They may not be asking you for it, but someone else may offer it, and you will never know why you lost them.”
  • On the human dimension in lending decisions: “Managing the credit that small businesses receive and the ability to walk through the problems when they inevitably come up is critical. That is a value that a community bank has, and needs to continue to deliver on, if it is to be relevant in the future.”