New York State Department of Financial Services

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New York State Department of Financial Services
Founded 2011
Headquarters New York, NY
Key People Linda Lacewell, Superintendent of Financial Services
Web site NYDFS Home
Releases Organization News

The New York State Department of Financial Services was created in 2011 in order to reform the regulation of financial services in New York to keep pace with the rapid evolution of the industry, to guard against financial crises and to protect consumers and markets from fraud. It was created by transferring the functions of the New York State Banking Department and the New York State Insurance Department into a new department. The transfer of functions became official on October 3, 2011.

The DFS supervises and regulates the activities of more than 1,400 insurance companies with assets of more than $4.3 trillion and approximately 1,500 banking and other financial institutions with assets totaling more than $2.6 trillion. They include nearly 200 life insurance companies, 1,100 property/casualty insurance companies, about 100 health insurers and managed care organizations, and 300,000 individual insurance licensees, 90 state-chartered banks, 81 foreign branches, 10 foreign agencies, 16 credit unions, 380 licensed financial services companies, and more than 7,600 mortgage loan originators and servicers.[1]

Founding DFS superintendent Benjamin Lawsky was replaced by Linda Lacewell on June 20, 2019.


The legislation that created the department, known as the Financial Services Law, was introduced as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s 2011 budget.[2]

DFS established a new compliance division and a new enforcement division in 2016. In 2017, DFS created a new Investigations and Intelligence Division.

In 2019 Linda Lacewell combined the agency’s enforcement and consumer bureaus and appointed Katie Lemire, a former federal prosecutor, to oversee both. Lacewell also created a new cybersecurity division to oversee compliance with state regulations that require financial firms to protect consumer data and notify the state if a breach occurs.[3]


The Department is organized into the following divisions: Insurance, Banking, Financial Frauds and Consumer Protection, Compliance, Enforcement, Capital Markets/Research Trends Innovations, Investigations and Intelligence, the Office of Financial Innovation, and Real Estate.

Research and Innovation

The NYDFS' Division of Research and Innovation primarily focuses on researching and regulating cryptocurrency trading and issuance. On July 23, 2019, the Department's newly-appointed superintendent, Linda Lacewell, announced that the Research and Innovation Division of the NYDFS will track emerging financial technologies and "be responsible for licensing and supervising virtual currencies." The NYDFS also said in a follow-up statement to Coindesk that the Division "will oversee the virtual currency licensing process and will encourage development in the area."[4]


Key People


  1. NYSDFS 2017 Annual Report. New York State Department of Financial Services.
  2. NYSDFS History. New York State Department of Financial Services.
  3. New York's Top Financial Regulator Wants to Protect Consumers. The Wall Street Journal.
  4. New NYDFS Division to Oversee Licensing for Cryptocurrency Startups. Coindesk.