On February 24, the California State Senate voted to confirm Manuel Alvarez as Commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO). As previously covered by InfoBytes, the California governor announced the appointment in March 2019. The DBO issued an announcement following the confirmation vote, in which Commissioner Alvarez discussed financial service innovations California companies have made over the past decade, including those in the area of mobile payments and online lending to cryptocurrencies. Commissioner Alvarez stated that the changes “hold both promise and peril,” and explained that it is his “goal as Commissioner . . . to strike a sensible balance between consumer protections, which preserve the integrity of [California’s] financial ecosystem, and responsible technological innovation in financial services, which may increase access to quality and affordable financial products.”

As covered by a recent Buckley Special Alert, a trailer bill accompanying the governor’s proposed 2020-2021 state budget was recently released. The bill would enact the California Consumer Financial Protection Law and rename and expand the DBO’s authority to protect consumers from predatory practices and foster the responsible development of new financial products.