New York State Department of Financial Services
The New York State Department of Financial Services was created in 2011 in order to reform the regulation of financial services in New York to keep pace with the rapid evolution of the industry, to guard against financial crises and to protect consumers and markets from fraud. It was created by transferring the functions of the New York State Banking Department and the New York State Insurance Department into a new department. The transfer of functions became official on October 3, 2011.
The DFS supervises and regulates the activities of more than 1,400 insurance companies with assets of more than $4.3 trillion and approximately 1,500 banking and other financial institutions with assets totaling more than $2.6 trillion. They include nearly 200 life insurance companies, 1,100 property/casualty insurance companies, about 100 health insurers and managed care organizations, and 300,000 individual insurance licensees, 90 state-chartered banks, 81 foreign branches, 10 foreign agencies, 16 credit unions, 380 licensed financial services companies, and more than 7,600 mortgage loan originators and servicers.
Founding DFS superintendent Benjamin Lawsky was replaced by Linda Lacewell on June 20, 2019.
The NYDFS is responsible for some of the most direct attempts by a U.S. regulator to regulate digital assets and blockchain trading firms. One example of this is the BitLicense, which was created by the NYDFS. On June 24, 2015, the Department published a set of rules for running a business involving, or related to the production or sale of "Virtual Currencies."
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