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Maryland Financial Regulators Designate Fintech Innovation Contact

Maryland Joins 30 Other States in Efforts to Foster Communications

BALTIMORE (April 18, 2018) – The Maryland Department of Labor, Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation has joined regulators from 30 states and jurisdictions in designating an innovation staff contact within its office. The innovation contact serves as the initial point of contact on the commissioner’s staff for financial technology companies (fintechs) interested in communicating with the office about financial technology subjects, thereby streamlining communication on money transmission and payments, lending, and bank innovation.

“By providing a single point of contact, we have made it easier for companies seeking to do business in Maryland to discuss their concepts, business plans, or applications for money transmission and payments, lending, and bank innovation,” said Commissioner Tony Salazar. “It is important to us to make doing business in Maryland easier, and this action is one simple step in our efforts to engage with fintechs.”

Innovation contacts facilitate and foster communication between the Office of the Commissioner and industry regarding financial technology and the applicable laws and regulations in Maryland. This streamlined communications model eases the process for new fintechs navigating the licensing process and established companies seeking input on their business plans.

“The financial technology landscape is changing - sometimes very rapidly. This improved process demonstrates our office’s commitment to working with fintech companies to encourage modernization in the financial sector,” said Commissioner Salazar. “We believe that facilitating communications with fintechs gives us the ability to proactively protect consumers while also spurring on new ideas and innovations.”

The idea for innovation contacts came out of meetings held by the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regulatory agencies, and other states have followed their lead. Maryland joins California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington State, and Wyoming in adopting the new communications model.

Assistant Commissioner for Non-Depository Supervision Jedd Bellman is Maryland’s innovation contact.  Assistant Commissioner Bellman can be reached at jedd.bellman@maryland.gov or by phone at 410-230-6390.

About the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation
The Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation supervises the activities of the mortgage lenders and servicers through periodic on-site examinations and off-site monitoring programs and coordination of efforts with other states. Its mission is to ensure that the citizens of Maryland are able to conduct their financial transactions through safe, sound, and well-managed institutions that comply with Maryland law, including various consumer protection provisions, while providing a flexible, yet sound regulatory environment that promotes fair competition, encourages innovative business development, and supports the economy of Maryland.

About the Maryland Department of Labor
The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) is committed to safeguarding and protecting Marylanders. We're proud to support the economic stability of the state by providing businesses, the workforce, and the consuming public with high-quality, customer-focused regulatory, employment, and training services. For updates and information, follow DLLR on Twitter (@MD_DLLR), Facebook and visit our website.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Theresa Blaner
Director, Communications and Media Relations
410-230-6241 (office)
443-721-8637 (cell)