The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) yesterday announced it has hired a leading consumer advocate to run its Office of Financial Technology and Innovation, with the mandate to create a “national model for fostering responsible innovation” for entrepreneurs developing financial products and services in the state.
The hiring of Christina Tetreault, who was most recently the Manager of Financial Policy for Consumer Reports, is the third and final major hire for DFPI to get its primary offices up and running. Tetreault joins Suzanne Martindale who will run the Consumer Financial Protection Division and Brian Gould who will lead the Office of the Ombuds, each working under DFPI Commissioner Manuel P. Alvarez.
“We are creating a national model in California that will better protect consumers, help innovators and entrepreneurs understand our expectations, and support the creation of responsible financial products,” Alvarez said in a statement. “The leadership and expertise each of these individuals brings will help us execute the ambitious responsibilities we have under the new law.”
Tetreault will be setting regular “office hours” to meet with fintech innovators and stakeholders to gather feedback to help “spur job creation and safeguard consumers,” according to a press release announcing her hiring.
The DFPI is a result of the California Consumer Financial Protection Law, which went into effect January 1. The DFPI has been active in its first few months of operation, seeking comments on the rulemaking process, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on its debt collector licensing application, and creating a Debt Collection Advisory Committee. It has also announced investigations into the collection industry and the student loan debt relief industry.