The New York Department of Financial Services has created its own state-level consumer protection unit by combining two divisions into one.
The newly formed Consumer Protection and Financial Enforcement Division will be run by Katherine Lemire, who was most recently a partner at StoneTurn, a consulting firm. The CPEFD was formed by merging the state’s Enforcement and Financial Frauds and Consumer Protection units. Linda Lacewell, the acting director of the Department of Financial Services said in a release that the new division will be a “powerhouse” to “guard against financial crises and to protect consumers and markets from fraud.”
Lemire has also been an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, and principal advisor to New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
From a release announcing the new unit, the CPEFD “is responsible for protecting and educating consumers and fighting consumer fraud, as well as ensuring that regulated entities comply with New York and federal law in relation to their activities serving the public. It is also responsible for developing investigative leads and intelligence in furtherance of the Department’s efforts to enforce the Banking, Insurance and Financial Services laws, with particular focus on the review and response to cybersecurity events and the development of supervisory, regulatory and enforcement policy and direction in the area of financial crimes. Consumer Protection and Financial Enforcement encompasses the Enforcement Division; Investigations and Intelligence Division; Civil Investigations Unit; the Producers Unit; the Consumer Examinations Unit; the Student Protection Unit; and the Holocaust Claims Processing Office.”
A number of states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania have formed their own state-level version of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, largely as a response to what those states view is a retraction of enforcement activities from the CFPB itself.