New York State Senate confirms first superintendent of Department of Financial Services
ALBANY, New York: Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that the New York State Senate has confirmed Benjamin M. Lawsky as the first superintendent of the new New York State Department of Financial Services. Cuomo created the department, which merges the Banking Department and the Department of Insurance, in an effort to streamline the state's financial services and strengthen the banking industry. The merger will become effective October 3, 2011.
Lawsky, who is currently Cuomo's Chief of Staff, brings extensive public service experience to the position. He previously served as the Deputy Counselor and Special Assistant for then-Attorney General Cuomo, for five years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York, Chief Counsel to Senator Charles Schumer on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. Senator Joseph A. Griffo, Chair of the Banks Committee, recognized that the "agency will have important challenges moving forward," and supported Cuomo choice of Lawsky, expressing his confidence "that the new Superintendent and the Department of Financial Services will work to keep the balance between allowing the industry to thrive, while still being responsive to the individual consumer."