December 15, 2016
Polsinelli held a panel discussion Thursday at their New York office about the legal and regulatory challenges banks are facing as they look to adopt to financial technology (FinTech). 

The development of FinTech presents new opportunities for incumbent banks to revolutionize their operations and the industry. FinTech firms are bringing innovative technologies to traditional banks that rely on legacy systems and business processes. However, transformative technologies like Blockchain come with a variety of legal and regulatory issues that must be navigated by banks to fully harness the potential of FinTech.

The Dec. 8 event was an opportunity for bank executives to hear from thought leaders in the FinTech space about the potential business opportunities and legal challenges posed by these new technologies. The panelists included, Richard Levin, the Chair of Polsinelli’s FinTech and Regulation practice; Brent Tomer, Chief Trial Attorney for the U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); and Obreahny O’Brien, Business Solution Leader for Blockchain and Distributed Infrastructure Strategy at Ernst & Young. The panel was moderated by Ying Wang, Of Counsel in Polsinelli’s New York office.

“Polsinelli was honored to have distinguished speakers from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the CFTC, and Ernst and Young join our guests in discussing the opportunities and challenges posed by FinTech,” Wang said. 

The panel discussed a variety of topics including the potential applications and implications of FinTech and the potential regulatory issues for banks and FinTech companies. They suggested how to develop a coordinated approach to managing potential risks associated with the use of these technologies in a way that brings together compliance, IT and front office personnel. The panel concluded with a recommendation that financial services firms looking to deploy FinTech be proactive in their communications with regulators and consult with qualified external counsel in advance of deploying new technologies, to avoid potential sanctions and associated compliance, reputation and legal risks. 

Levin noted how the event brought together thought leaders in the FinTech space. “Polsinelli’s FinTech and Regulation practice is uniquely qualified to advise incumbent banks and FinTech companies on the legal and regulatory issues presented by the development and deployment of innovative technologies,” he said. “We look forward to continuing to facilitate the dialogue between the regulators and the industry on this important subject.”

For more information, contact Carrie Trent at