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CONSUMER FIRST COALITION

The Consumer First Coalition (CFC) is leading and collaborating in the effort to protect consumers from synthetic identity fraud.

The Consumer First Coalition (CFC) represents a group of companies committed to combating new forms of fraud, protecting identities, and upholding the privacy protections that are a hallmark of the financial services industry.

 

In financial services, consumers have more choices from a wider range of providers than ever before.  While this innovation is exciting and transformative, it has necessarily heightened consumers’ expectations of trust.  The CFC works collaboratively with policymakers, federal agencies and industry stakeholders to drive policy outcomes designed to meet these expectations for their shared customers.

 

For example, the CFC is leading industry efforts and collaborating with industry partners to successfully implement an important new law designed to significantly reduce cases of synthetic identity fraud.  Victims of this type of fraud are most often children and others with little or no credit history whose Social Security numbers (SSNs) are used by criminals to establish “synthetic” credit histories.  Over time, these fake credit files are used to apply for and obtain credit. 

 

Under the new law, financial institutions would be able to verify – with consumer consent – whether a given name, date-of-birth and SSN match with the Social Security Administration.  With this extra piece of identity information, credit issuers will be able to stop the process of creating synthetic identities in its tracks and spare would-be victims from the nightmare of cleaning up a compromised SSN.

 

To learn more about synthetic identity theft, check out our resources section.

 

Coalition Staff

 

The CFC’s executive director is Jason Kratovil.   He is a recognized expert in mobile and traditional payment platforms, data security, privacy and financial technology policy, and brings 18 years of related experience to the Coalition.  A respected veteran of three financial trade associations, Congress and the technology sector, Kratovil is a proven coalition builder and leader.  His background enables him to successfully manage diverse stakeholders:  Over the last two decades he has demonstrated his technical, commercial, and management capabilities to deliver value, often by working with business line executives and technologists to understand how proposed policies intersect with the operational and risk mitigation aspects of their businesses. 

 

Jason has testified before the U.S. Congress, and is frequently engaged by media and outside organizations to provide expert commentary.  Additionally, during Congressional consideration of S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (Public Law 115-174), Kratovil successfully led efforts championing the inclusion in that bill of critical anti-synthetic identity fraud legislation.

 

The Coalition is supported by Jim Sivon and Katie Weschler of the firm Barnett Sivon & Natter, P.C.  Jim is a former senior vice president and general counsel for the Association of Bank Holding Companies, and he served as the staff director for the Republican members of the U.S. House Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs from 1980 to 1983.

Jim is a frequent speaker on the regulation of financial services firms and is the author of various publications including Understanding FinTech and Banking Law – A Practical Guide, published by Thomson Reuters (co-author), The New CRA, published by the American Bankers Association, Insurance Activities: A Legal Guide for Banks, published by A.S. Pratt & Sons, and FIRREA: Implementation and Compliance, published by Warren Gorham & Lamont (co-author). He is a co-editor of FinTech Law Report, a bimonthly publication by Thomson Reuters.

 

He is a member of the Executive Council of the Federal Bar Association's Banking Law Committee and the Exchequer Club.  He received his undergraduate degree from Denison University and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia.

 

Katie Wechsler previously served as counsel and associate director of government affairs for The Financial Services Roundtable's Housing Policy Council. In that role, Wechsler researched, analyzed, and drafted testimonies, regulatory comment letters, and policy papers on housing and mortgage issues, regulations, and legislation.

 

Katie is a co-editor of FinTech Law Report, a bimonthly publication by Thomson Reuters, a co-author of Understanding FinTech and Banking Law – A Practical Guide, published by Thomson Reuters, and a co-author of Dodd Frank Act and National Bank Preemption: Much Ado About Nothing, Virginia Law & Business Review, Volume 7, Fall 2012, Number 2.

 

Katie is a member of the Executive Council of the Federal Bar Association's Banking Law Committee and the American Bar Association’s Banking Law Committee and Consumer Financial Services Committee.

Our Mission

Implementation of an important new law designed to significantly reduce cases of synthetic identity fraud.  Victims of this type of fraud are most often children and others with little or no credit history whose Social Security numbers (SSNs) are used by criminals to establish “synthetic” credit histories.

 

Our Vision

Commitment to combating new forms of fraud, protecting identities, and upholding the privacy protections that are a hallmark of the financial services industry.