[My longtime friend, Tom Vartanian, wrote the following article for the American Banker on the rapidly evolving technological innovations affecting financial institutions throughout the world. All of us have been and will continue to be impacted by these developments – for the most part in positive ways but also in ways that threaten our right to privacy and even our national security. Tom’s article is a clarion call.]

As federal regulators rightly begin encouraging technological innovation rather than lagging behind it, one must also consider the darker side of technology.

There is a growing race for control of money, information and payments systems. The Washington Post recently reported that the government is seeing increasing warning signs of cyberattacks on industrial control systems that could cause “massive financial damage.”

Ultimately, technology will either empower or overpower financial services companies and their regulators. The difference will depend on how proactive firms and regulators are to control that evolution.

The head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is running the innovation baton down the field, encouraging the government to lead fintech rather than follow it. FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams offered an important insight in a recent op-ed: “If our regulatory framework is unable to evolve with technological advances, the United States may cease to be a place where ideas and concepts become the products and services that improve people’s lives.”

She could not be more correct.

Read the full American Banker Article