Sultan Meghji, who resigned from the FDIC on Feb. 18, wrote in an op-ed for Bloomberg that he “found barriers to innovation” at virtually every agency he worked with. He collaborated with the Federal Reserve, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other federal agencies during his stint at the FDIC.
Meghji, who held his post for about a year, also expressed concern that existing regulation may be inadequate to address modern technological challenges.
“Serving in this role was an honor, but my decision to leave was right,” he wrote in the op-ed. “The federal bureaucracy is both hesitant and hostile to technological change. America’s global financial leadership is in jeopardy.”
Meghji also took issue with the level of knowledge at various federal departments.
“I estimate that across the agencies I encountered, less than one-tenth of staff had a basic understanding of the technologies they regulate,” he said. “Even senior officials — those who lead regulatory development and implementation — are baffled by concepts like fintech, the dark web and even financial apps.”
The hiring process is another area of concern, he asserted.
“The federal hiring process does a poor job of identifying and keeping the best candidates,” he said.
“I lost track of the number of times I was told to hire someone with few qualifications over a proven technology specialist,” Meghji added. “The government must put applied digital knowledge front and center instead of prioritizing government tenure and unrelated qualifications.”