Next Regulator Up: Treasury Department Explores AI in the Financial Sector

By: Matthew J. Rogers and Maxwell J. Black

On 6 June 2024, the Department of the Treasury (the Treasury) published a request for information on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the financial services sector, with the goal of gathering input from a wide range of stakeholders. This request follows soon after the Treasury’s report on AI and cybersecurity.

Like other US regulators, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Treasury is interested in understanding the opportunities and risks posed by AI, including the potential impact on consumers, investors, financial institutions, and businesses. Specifically, the Treasury is seeking feedback on the definition of AI under President Biden’s Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of AI, the types of AI models and tools used by financial institutions, and the general accessibility of AI.

Of particular interest is the Treasury’s query regarding a potential “human capital shortage” in financial organizations. This concerns the scenario where companies utilize AI tools without sufficient employees that fully understand their mechanisms. Additionally, the request solicits perspectives on model risks, operational risks, compliance risks, and third-party risks, among others.

This request for information shows that the Treasury is looking to augment the efforts of the CFTC, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and banking agencies, which have also requested similar AI-related information. It remains to be seen the extent to which federal agencies such as the Treasury coordinate their rulemaking processes and how any such rules will fit together.

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