FinTech Conference

3rd Annual Financial Stability Conference
Hosted by the U.S. Office of Financial Research and the University of Michigan’s Center on Finance, Law, and Policy
November 16-17, 2017 at University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor

Keynote Remarks by 

Lael Brainard
Member, Board of Governors,
The Federal Reserve
Gillian Tett
U.S. Managing Editor,
Financial Times

This two-day event will bring together a wide range of researchers, policymakers, students, and practitioners from various disciplines.

Financial technology, or FinTech, can be traced back to the introduction of the telegraph in the 1860s. Between then and the 1980s, most FinTech advancements were record-keeping and data systems found in the back offices of financial institutions, out of sight of the public. As internet technology became more available, however, FinTech evolved rapidly. Financial firms digitized their processes, and companies began introducing consumer-facing products such as online banking and PayPal.

Today, FinTech continues to disrupt and to evolve, not only in how financial products and services are delivered, but who delivers them. Regulators and market participants face challenges in understanding and balancing the benefits of FinTech against potential risks. Innovation helps catalyze growth and new opportunities while generating new risks. Regulatory structures in place could fail to accommodate changes in the financial marketplace. Regulators may overreact to new technologies, stifling innovation and locking in old forms of doing business. At the same time, regulatory complacency can have disastrous results, permitting the buildup of systemic risk or widespread consumer harms.

This conference will explore methodologies that the private sector, researchers, and policymakers can use harness the upside potential of financial innovation while reducing the downside risks.