Meta executive chosen to help advise Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection

Oct. 29, 2018

This paid piece is sponsored by MetaBank.

Each month by phone and twice annually in person, Jeanni Stahl gets together with representatives, including several from some of the nation’s largest banks.

They are her peers on a compliance administrative committee for the American Bankers Association, a trade association for the U.S. banking industry.

“We get to share what’s going on in the regulatory front, what trends we’re seeing, and twice a year we meet with regulators to share our thoughts on what we’d like to see from the regulatory community to help banks succeed,” said Stahl, who is based in Sioux Falls and serves as senior vice president and chief risk officer at MetaBank.

Stahl’s experience on that committee presented her earlier this year with another opportunity to provide insight at a national level.

The Community Bank Advisory Council, which advises the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, was being overhauled. Its 20 members were being reduced to seven, and all spots were open.

“So I decided why not. I’ll throw my hat in the ring,” Stahl said.

As did hundreds of other banking leaders nationwide.

There was a round of interviews in the spring, background checks, and then in late summer Stahl was told she’d been appointed.

“As I learned more about the process, I realized it’s quite an honor to be selected,” she said.

Stahl is part of what acting director Mick Mulvaney called a “new-look” advisory committee, “who are providing a wide array of new perspectives to consumer protection,” he said in a statement.

“We look forward to hearing high-quality feedback from these experts in consumer finance markets to inform the bureau’s decision-making going forward.”

There are three advisory panels – the others are a consumer advisory board and a credit union advisory council – with experts in consumer protection, financial services, fintech, community development, fair lending, civil rights, and consumer financial products and services, as well as representatives of community banks and credit unions.

They are charged with identifying and assessing the impact of emerging products, practices and services on consumers and other market participants. Advisory committee members share expertise across the range of issues under the bureau’s jurisdiction.

Stahl’s role as one of only seven community bank representatives selected for the advisory board is recognition of her national stature in banking and payments, said Tyler Haahr, Meta’s chairman and CEO.

“Jeanni brings a unique perspective given Meta’s unique business model. It also brings positive recognition to South Dakota and adds to South Dakota’s reputation as a banking and financial services hub,” he said.

The advisory council met for the first time a few weeks ago. Another in-person meeting will occur in the spring, with monthly calls in between.

“It was very interesting,” Stahl said. “I enjoyed the members that were selected for the Community Bank Council. They’re extremely knowledgeable people with a diverse set of opinions, yet we were surprisingly aligned.”

The meetings, which are open to the public, introduced a couple of areas of focus for the council in the coming year, including preventing elder abuse and expanding the availability of financial services for “credit invisibles,” or people who are not using the credit system for various reasons.

“One of the reasons I believe I was chosen was this year’s focus on bank partnerships with fintech companies, which is a big part of what Meta does,” Stahl said. “And it’s near and dear to my heart. Meta really believes in providing services in new and innovative ways.”

For Stahl, it’s the next addition to a career that has taken her from a bank examiner with the FDIC in Sioux Falls to roles at banks that have included compliance, risk management and nationwide product development. A native of Brookings and a graduate of South Dakota State University, she joined MetaBank in 2009. She began with a team of three doing third-party risk management and now oversees five departments with 70 employees.

“I love Meta’s spirit of innovation,” Stahl said. “Meta has big dreams, and they find ways to make them happen. I have the opportunity to work with people from all over the nation in a challenging environment. Every year I am surprised by how much we take on and how much we accomplish.”

Stahl is a hard worker who leads by example, Haahr said.

“She is inquisitive and bright,” he said. “She does a great job of balancing and weighing everyone’s input as well as all relevant risks and rewards.”

Stahl’s service on the federal advisory committee is only guaranteed for a one-year term.

“My guess is that the bureau wants to not only encourage active participation but also wants to focus on getting fresh and new opinions. A shorter term allows them to hear from new representatives each year,” she said. “But it means we as incoming members have to hit the ground running.

“I am really enjoying the opportunity.  It opens my eyes to a lot of new perspectives and gives me the chance to share mine in a meaningful way.  I encourage others to do the same. If there’s an opportunity to be active in your industry trade or regulatory groups, take advantage of it.  You will be amazed at the doors that are opened.”

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Meta executive chosen to help advise Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection

Hundreds of banking leaders applied to help advise the federal Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Meet the executive from MetaBank who was one of seven selected.

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