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Washington, DC
United States

(575) 737-8602

Jo Ann Barefoot explores how to create fair and inclusive consumer financial services through innovative ideas for industry and regulators

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Advisory Services

Advisory Services and “Regulation Innovation”

I offer strategic guidance for clients navigating today’s disruptive regulatory and technology landscape in consumer financial services. Much of my work focuses on  “regulation innovation” – fresh thinking about how to avert regulatory risk through innovation.

I work with boards, CEO’s, business line heads, innovation teams, chief compliance and risk officers, legal departments, and project teams focused on new products, channels, regulatory issues, and IT integration and data management. My clients include banks, innovators, nonbank financial companies, and nonprofits. We tackle critical challenges like:

  • Strategic repositioning to avert regulatory and reputation risk
  • Strategic review of products, practices and policies to assess and address “fairness” issues, including unfair, deceptive and abusive practices (UDAAP), fair lending, and privacy concerns
  • Helping innovation teams optimize consumer benefits and risks raised by new products and channels, such as mobile payments, and related regulatory issues
  • Strengthening financial inclusiveness, including updating Community Reinvestment Act strategy as consumers shift from branch-based services to mobile banking
  • Change-management – building and integrating cultures and structures to avoid regulatory and reputation risk and accelerate competitive innovation
  • Helping small business teams prepare for rising regulatory scrutiny modeled on consumer compliance
  • Strategic briefings for boards, executive teams, and risk managers on how regulatory and technology trends are disrupting traditional consumer financial  services and how best to respond

Consumer financial regulation is undergoing metamorphosis. Technical compliance is being subsumed under a new, dominant model of principles-based oversight. The principles being applied are subjective, evolving, and inconsistent -- given the pace and scope of change underway in technology, it will be years before clear guidance emerges. In the meantime, financial companies must strategically shift their compliance and business models, learning to thrive and win amid constant and unpredictable change.