On April 29, 2019 the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) announced that it has created a new division, called the Consumer Protection and Financial Enforcement Division, which combines the previously separate Enforcement Division and Financial Frauds and Consumer Protection Division.

The new division will be “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.”  DFS further indicated that the division will have a particular focus on “review and response to cybersecurity events and the development of supervisory, regulatory and enforcement policy and direction in the area of financial crimes.”

In January 2018, then-Superintendent of Financial Services Maria Vullo stated that DFS would “lead and take action to fill the increasing number of regulatory voids” that she believed had been created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “troublesome policy shift away from consumer protection” under the Trump Administration.  This reorganization of DFS can potentially be seen as part of that effort.

Katherine Lemire, formerly an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York and a partner at an international compliance and investigative consulting firm, will lead the new division.