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About The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is one of the 12 Regional Reserve Banks that make up the Federal Reserve System together with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. Philadelphia Fed has been a strong advocate of growing the fintech ecosystem and has been a regular contributor in advancing fintech policy research and discussion. It has specifically focused on fintech issues such as credit availability to thin-file consumers and small businesses and financial stability.
About The annual Fintech Conference
Its annual fintech conference is a platform for multiple stakeholders in the fintech ecosystem regulators, fintech lenders, fintech vendors, researchers etc. to interact and share their vision on how fintech is evolving and its expected impact on the current financial landscape. The conference is in its third run in 2019. The 2018 event was held from November 13-14 and had 267 registrations by invitations.
The third annual fintech conference took place at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on November 14–15, 2019. Partners for the conference include Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the Bank Policy Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the University of Cambridge. The event consisted of 9 sessions where expert panels from different companies, institutions, banks, and universities discussed emerging fintech issues.
Session 1: The Increasing Roles of Tech Firms in Financial Services
Session 2: Choosing the Best Fintech Partners for Your Businesses
Session 3: Recent Fintech Research on Bitcoin and Other Cryptoassets
Session 4: Designing Effective Regulatory Sandboxes for Fintech Innovations
Session 5: Private Digital Currencies or Central Bank Digital Currencies?
Special Remarks on Private Digital Currencies and Libra
Session 6: Future Fintech Regulations: A Conversation with John Ryan
Session 7: New Challenges in Fintech Lending — A Conversation with Max Levchin
Session 8: Fintech Roles in Small Business Lending and Regulations
Session 9: Looking Ahead: The Future of Fintech
The Conference started on 14th November 2019. Patrick T. Harker, the President and CEO of Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia presented the opening remarks. The opening keynote was given by Charles L. Evans, the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank Chicago. On the first day of the event, there were four sessions. The major discussion points were on tech firms’ increasing role in financial services, research on crypto assets and regulatory issues surrounding fintech sandbox. The day ended with a conference reception.
The second day of the event had five sessions. Special Remarks on Private Digital Currencies and Libra was given by Gary Gensler, a professor of the Practice of Global Economics and Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This indicated that the Fed also recognizes the power of blockchain to disrupt existing financial systems. The conservation with Max Levine, (co-founder of Paypal and Founder-CEO of Affirm) focused on the new challenges in fintech lending.
One of the liveliest panels was Fintech Roles in Small Business Lending and Regulations. Moderated by Patricia Hasson (President and CEO, Clarifi), the session saw MonJa’s Founder and CEO James Wu also participating in one of the most anticipated discussions on how fintechs can help small businesses climb the credit ladder. With more than 30 million small businesses in the US, this is a trillion-dollar question.
Panel with James Wu – Fintech Roles in Small Business Lending and Regulations
James Wu is the founder and CEO of MonJa, a platform that streamlines commercial and small business underwriting, investor analytics, reporting, and credit facility management. Before becoming the founder of MonJa he was the executive director of risk management analytics at MSCI.
Other speakers in the session:
Ryan Rosett is founder and co-CEO of Credibly. Previously, he was the founder of IDEA Real Estate Group. He has a J.D. from the University Of Detroit School Of Law and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Ryan Metcalf is the head of U.S. Regulatory Affairs at Funding Circle, the global small business loans platform, connecting small businesses that want to borrow with investors who want to lend in the U.S.
Gwendy Brown is vice president of research and policy at Opportunity Fund, the nation’s largest nonprofit microlender. In this role, Brown works to advance research and public policies that support financially healthy small businesses and communities
David Snitkof is the head of analytics and data strategy at Kabbage Inc., a technology platform that provides cash-flow solutions to small businesses.
After the completion of the sessions, closing remarks were presented by William G. Spaniel. He is the Senior Vice President and Lending Officer at Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
The Third Annual Fintech Conference gave an opportunity to academics, practitioners, and regulators to engage in an in-depth discussion over the financial industry’s future and the role of fintech companies in working of the financial sector. Blockchain and crypto assets were also analyzed in detail. The changing regulatory landscape and how tech is critical for serving the needs of consumers and small businesses emerged as the underlying theme of the conference.
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