Can corporate governance and the culture of financial services firms keep up with the pace of growth of regulatory technology?

During the past several years, regulators have invested heavily in technology to protect and monitor regulatory reporting data quality. The main challenges for 2021 will focus on new regulations, preparing for those with effective dates this year and those that are going through the legislation, proposal and comment processes. This leaves financial services firms with no option but to address automated reporting as a way of validating all data submitted to regulators, detecting and correcting data issues as they arise, and setting up an overall data governance framework across different regulatory reporting requirements. Thus, Regulatory Technology (RegTech) is crucial for operational management and strategic decision-making for both the risk and compliance functions as it is designed to help firms understand and meet legal requirements more effectively and efficiently.

According to Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence’s 2020 annual survey report “RegTech and the role of compliance in 2021”, despite firms facing several budget challenges during the pandemic, the adoption and implementation of regulatory technology has taken a huge step forward with 70% of the surveyed firms reporting that COVID-19 increased their reliance on technological solutions.

The study, which shares the experiences of more than 400 compliance and risk practitioners, found that this sector’s growth is expected to accelerate in the coming months and years. Firms and their customers are realising the great value of adopting a wide variety of Fintech solutions.

The survey also shows that firms must be careful to deploy solutions on solid foundations. This means getting corporate governance right. A quarter of respondents said that corporate boards and the risk and compliance functions need to be more involved in finding and adopting Fintech solutions for the firm, highlighting the absence of appropriate skill sets as one reason for this lack of involvement.

Moreover, RegTech applications continue to provide popular, embedded solutions for firms in areas such as compliance monitoring, financial crime, AML/CTF, sanctions and regulatory reporting. Budgets are predicted to increase with a mix of in-house and external solutions as the option most frequently selected by respondents.

Interestingly, just 16% of firms reported they had implemented RegTech solutions, with a further 34% stating that RegTech solutions were affecting the management of compliance. Notably, the report identifies a shift from build to buy; firms that employ inhouse solutions fell to 6% in 2020 from 17% in 2019, while 12% reported that all of their RegTech solutions were developed externally.

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About ComplyPortal:

First developed in 2011 by compliance professionals for compliance officers, ComplyPortal offers workflow, automation, and several modules to help firms with control and regulatory compliance monitoring.

ComplyPortal simplifies financial services regulatory compliance management on an easy-to-use cloud-based comprehensive compliance platform. It enables compliance officers, risk officers and senior management to keep track of their firm’s regulatory responsibilities and workflows. Our platform includes the following modules, among others:

  • Monitoring: a year-round schedule pre-populated with monitoring questionnaires to ease compliance processes.
  • Registers: lists controlled by the Compliance officer, but easy for staff to view.
  • Risk: map and control risk areas to effectively identify and manage risk for your firm.
  • eKYC solution: perform comprehensive searches, including client identity verification, document authenticity, and more for a comprehensive KYC and AML approach