My journey as a financial supervisor and my intention to expand my impact with the Cambridge SupTech Lab
For the last nine years, I have been a market conduct supervisor in the Peruvian financial authority, the Superintendence of Banking, Insurance, and Private Pension Funds. My mission has been to protect financial consumers from unfair practices and to ensure that financial service providers conduct their business in the best interest of consumers.
In my role, I have been able to tackle frictions in the relationship between consumers and financial institutions, both through specific supervisory activities and through policymaking. Involved in the design and implementation of market conduct regulations, I have experienced the power of policymakers to shape the economy and generate positive impacts on society. This has been my main motivation throughout my career.
The challenges to innovate supervision from within
However, just as I am aware of the positive side of working for the public good, I am also aware of the limitations and pain points we have as public servants. The complexity and speed of digital channels are creating new risks for consumers that raise the need to review the existing consumer protection frameworks and update market conduct supervisory tools. The emerging challenges to protect and empower consumers in the digital finance marketplace add to those related to the incumbent business models. We need innovative approaches to manage and mitigate the financial consumer risks in the digital environment and harness the voice of consumers to create valuable insights for supervision and policymaking. Nevertheless, like most public agencies, financial authorities have to deal with many factors that inhibit innovation, such as bureaucratic procedures, media exposure, legacy IT systems, inadequate procurement process and lack of incentives that reward financial supervisors for driving innovation from within.
When I witnessed that the Central Bank of the Philippines was about to launch a chatbot to collect and process consumer complaints, I became increasingly interested in the potential of using new technologies to both raise the consumer’s voice and augment the capabilities of market conduct supervisors by generating new valuable insights about the customer experience and the conduct of financial institutions. I am aware that many consumers do not submit complaints (even if they suffered a monetary loss) because they consider that the effort is not worth it. However, new technologies can help create a feedback loop between users and supervisors and increase the likelihood of a timely response from the authorities.
Joining the Cambridge SupTech Lab allows me to bring my experience in financial consumer protection and market conduct supervision into a global initiative that intends to scale suptech applications and generate a new wave of innovation to reshape financial supervision. The Lab will help hundreds of supervisors who, like me, are committed to public service and convinced that financial authorities can – must! – be digitally transformed. I see this as a great opportunity to continue fulfilling my mission and expand my impact worldwide, helping other financial supervisors overcome the challenges that I have also experienced. We are the Innovation Leaders who are reshaping financial supervision.