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Networked Supervision: Building on a Legacy of Collaboration

By Michael L. Stevens, CSBS Senior Executive Vice President 

I value working for an organization with a long history. A history based on collaboration for the greater good. In 1902, 16 state regulators gathered in Detroit because they knew they had common challenges and could learn from each other. For a little perspective, this is the year air conditioning was invented. In July 1903, they gathered in Buffalo, New York to formalize this relationship by creating what eventually became the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. For more perspective, no one actually flew to Buffalo, since the Wright brothers did not have their first flight until five months later.

A growing and innovative economy creates challenges for the financial sector that is its lifeblood. Regulators must ensure they have the skills, resources and regulations to keep pace to fulfill their oversight role. A sound financial system is the bedrock to economic stability and consumer protection.

One hundred and nineteen years later, that work continues. We have a name for it today, Networked Supervision, with the idea being that by building the connections between regulators with technology, data and people, the state regulatory system can continue to respond to an ever growing and innovative economy.

Our CEO, John Ryan, cast this vision in February at the NMLS Annual Conference & Training. But his speech is much more than a vision; it set out the eight public priorities approved by the CSBS Board of Directors. The eight priorities that stakeholders can use to measure and judge our success. 

This is how serious our members are about continuing this long tradition of working together to meet the needs of the economy by effectively exercising their role.

This week, I will wrap up my 21-year career with CSBS. I value CSBS’s history and those who came before me to lay a strong foundation. I am proud that state regulators in 2021 continue their commitment to a sound financial system. They will do it by continuing to build the network.

In a few weeks, I will offer my perspective on this topic from my new role. Stay tuned.

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