Most financial institutions know it's critical to manage the ever-increasing amounts of accessible data, but many miss the potential in using that data in innovative ways. Financial institutions have a plethora of data they can access, either through their own systems or through public sources. However, many can't -- or won't -- exploit the large volumes of data, particularly the "owned" data that an organization holds about customers. This kind of data is typically called customer relationship management data, such as the purchase history tied to app installs, email addresses and postal addresses. Though financial institutions maintain and collect massive volumes of data, many firms are restricted from fully using that data because they are required to comply with stringent regulations around what can and cannot be done with customer data.
Regulatory compliance is timeconsuming and expensive for both financial institutions and regulators. The volume of information that parties must monitor and evaluate is enormous. The rules are often complex and difficult to understand and apply. And much of the process remains highly labor-intensive, when even the most automated solutions are often incompatible with other systems and, even today, most still depend heavily on manual inputs. As a result, costs have risen significantly for financial institutions in recent years.
Today, Financial Institutions (FIs) face significant legal and reputational risks when it comes to complying with anti-money laundering (AML) requirements (including anti-terrorist financing and obligations to conform). Failure can lead to serious sanctions imposed by regulatory bodies (Recently, Societe Generale fined $5.83 MM for a number of shortcomings in its control for preventing money laundering). Today's financial markets are truly global. Transactions and flow of funds take place through a web of interactions across nations and systems. This makes it difficult to be compliant with thousands of regulations and norms across a large number of jurisdictions.
As the cost of compliance continues to rise, financial institutions are coming under increasing pressure to find technological solutions and develop a winning digital strategy that must maintain agile awareness on both fronts. For anyone unfamiliar with the financial industry, a simple reference to "regulations" doesn't convey the vast web of compliance demands these institutions face. In the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis, a growing thicket of regulations and requirements have put banks of all sizes under siege. The sheer number of federal governing groups keeping a watchful eye on this rapidly evolving industry is daunting. Robert Half Management Resources director Richard White describes the current climate: "As soon as a bank passes one test, it may face another test right around the corner."
Regulatory technology (regtech) is often cited as the answer to the rising cost of compliance, risk and reporting duties at banks. Will it help financial institutions escape IT silos and enhance control over data? Neil Ainger, Daily News at Sibos' reporter, investigates. The principle of applying technology, such as regtech, to significant business challenges is "not new", says Paul Ellis, global head of regulatory product development at HSBC Securities Services. What is new is that regtech promises to marry the new landscape of post-financial crisis regulation to the new landscape of digital technologies.