The Online Lending Policy Institute is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Boston, MA. Our mission is to encourage responsible innovation in online lending through thought leadership and fostering a meaningful dialogue between policy makers, industry experts, and academics


OLPI’s Director is Professor Cornelius Hurley. Professor Cornelius Hurley’s extensive career in financial sector has included service with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, DC, a major New England-based bank holding company, a national bank consultancy firm and, now, Boston University. His ongoing narrative of the events leading up to the financial crisis of 2008–2009 and the reform efforts following it have made a valuable contribution to the public’s understanding of this historic event. His teaching and research interests focus upon the interactions of finance, regulatory policies and the real economy. Click here to learn more about Director Hurley.


researchResearch: Filter information into meaningful content

It is crucial that public policy debate happens based on objective research.  OLPI fills a void and acts as a single source filter, so that policymakers can have informed debates about the true risks and rewards of the future of lending.  Policymakers often paint with too broad of a brush.  This leads to over generalization of online lending. In reality, the market is composed of different and unique business models, providing a true value add to all its constituents.

Generally, the best researchers are academics.  They research to attain new knowledge – nothing more and nothing less.  Through this new knowledge, society is better because it makes informed decisions to reach common goals. OLPI epitomizes that view in hiring Cornelius Hurley as its first Director. Con, whose academic background speaks for itself, is poised to lead the charge in creating this informed forum for information being disseminated, facilitating discussion and change.

innovateEducate: Be the de facto resource for the industry

Research alone cannot promote change.  Rather, research must be disseminated in an engaging way that truly makes an impact on the intended audience.  OLPI focuses on educating, and is committed to—as journalist Sydney Harris noted about education— “turning mirrors into windows.”  That is, to clear up any misinformed or preconceived notions that policymakers and business people alike have about online lending specifically and FinTech generally.  OLPI accomplishes this through white papers, podcasts, in-depth policy summits and speaking engagements, among other tools. Through our educational mission we will teach ourselves.  It is through informed dialogue we educate one another about the best way to reach our shared future of safer, faster, and better lending.

OLPI’s first commitment to educate was through the hosting of the groundbreaking First Annual Policy Summit in Washington, DC, on September 13, 2016.  This historic Summit was an important first step to gather the varied perspectives (academics, bankers, lawyers, industry experts, etc.) involved in marketplace lending (specifically and online lending generally) to have an open and important dialogue.  Keynotes included remarks from Congressman Patrick McHenry, Senator Jeff Merkley, and OCC Comptroller of the Currency Tom Curry, who discussed his idea for a FinTech charter.  The questions posed at the Summit and through other educational initiatives will drive further research.

innovate_2Innovate: Shape policy to facilitate the development of new products and solutions 

Beyond a “think tank,” OLPI is a “do tank” – it does more than merely come up with ideas.  OLPI create ideas that solve problems, which show up in practice.  We have accomplished our mission when: Policymakers quote our research to push responsible, informed legislation; Companies are seen as responsible because they adopt and follow our best practices; OLPI’s practices and research give the blueprint for the marriage between technology and finance that results in greater transparency, security,  informed use of and overall access to credit.  All simply to increase innovation in financial services.   OLPI will provide resources so that policymakers will be able to make informed decisions about what the true risks and rewards are with online lending, and about when regulation is and is not necessary.   Such informed decisions will lead to less regulatory uncertainty, which will improve the overall FinTech ecosystem in the United States – which will open the door for more entrants and greater innovation.


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