Yesterday, the first ever Marketplace Lending Policy Summit took place in Washington DC. Even though this was not a LendIt event I fully supported it because I believed in the importance of an event of this nature. We need to raise our profile in Washington and engage with lawmakers, not just one company at a time, but as an industry. I was happy to be there and participate as a speaker.
We heard from several high profile speakers at the MPL Summit. Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) talked about the importance of Fintech and shared a personal story about his father’s small business and the challenge he had obtaining sufficient funding. He talked about his legislative approach and some of the steps he is taking in Congress to try to help the industry. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) also talked about small business funding and the effort it took to get the JOBS Act passed. He believes it is crucial for Congress to help create an environment where small businesses can thrive.
The highlight of the day, at least for me, was the presentation by the Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry. He talked about his time overseeing banks and other financial institutions throughout his decades long career. Today, the OCC overseas 1,400 national banks and federal savings associations. He shared his concern that the industry has not been through a full credit cycle yet and that it will be important to find stable funding sources that hold up during a downturn. [Read more…]