16 Apr 2019 Interview with Deborah Young, CEO RegTech Association

Following the launch of TAS’ third Compliance Index, we interviewed Deborah Young, CEO of The RegTech Association on her insights on the report. Here we explore her thoughts on the rise of RegTechs and the role they play in solving regulatory challenges.

What stood out to you in TAS’ third Compliance Report?

The key thing for me was the findings around organisations reluctance to partner with RegTechs. We have seen it first hand, banking and finance institutions are nervous of the unknown and are hesitant when it comes to new technology. Understandably when an unknown brand approaches a top-tier firm they are going to get push back. Organisations are much more likely to partner with technology offered by trusted sources. And this is what we are trying hard to address through our partnerships at the Association.

For example, Microsoft recently became a member of The RegTech Association with the aim to stay on top of innovative and cutting-edge tech solutions and partner with RegTechs developing them. Through this partnership, RegTechs can get a foot in the door so to speak, remove some of the nervousness around new and untested technology and build credibility; conversations with major financial institutions becomes easier.

What role does the RegTech Association play in the compliance sector?

The RegTech Association grew out of frustration technology firms were feeling with banking and financial institutions. Despite the industry being in turmoil and the RegTech industry booming, organisations have been reluctant to explore and embrace new solutions. The RegTech Association offers a platform that brings together government, regulators, regulated entities, professional services, and founder-led RegTech companies to ensure collaboration between all parties. It offers a more powerful voice in the sector and allows members to engage with the right people and have meaningful conversations around using technology to solve regulatory challenges.

What does the future of regulatory compliance look like?

The future of regulatory compliance relies heavily on collaboration and partnerships between the industry and RegTechs. There has been some evidence to suggest that financial institutions are starting to pilot new technology to help with meeting their compliance requirements. While this is encouraging, there is still a long way to go. Many financial institutions are steeped in legacy and it is hard to get business alignment with RegTechs. We need to keep working hard at changing this – compliance scrutiny will continue to increase, and disruptive technology is here to stay. When we help organisations realise the power of technology in meeting their compliance requirements we will see a different compliance landscape.

What advice would you give organisations considering partnering with RegTechs?

At our recent conference, #ACCELERATERegTech2019, a panel of experts made the observation, that to be effective, RegTech must become embedded in the workflow, procedures and systems of an organisation, while respecting rather than replacing existing infrastructure. Organisations who grasp this and see RegTech as an enabler of productivity and efficiency, will have a competitive advantage.

Australia is the third-largest global RegTech hub after the US and Britain which means there is cutting edge technology on our door step. Partnering with a RegTech gives you access to this leading technology and helps organisations stay compliant. The opportunities are endless!

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28 Mar 2019 The realities of the new Compliance environment

Three things to keep in mind as you navigate the realities of the new compliance environment

The Australian finance and banking sectors have recently experienced one of the most tumultuous years. Organisations, left reeling after the Banking Royal Commission, were forced to take a long hard look at themselves and address the many compliance issues that had been ignored for some time.

In 2019 as the dust settles, leaders and organisations now turn their attention to navigating the ‘new normal’ and implementing robust processes that will comply with regulators and gain back the trust of their customers.

The following article explores three things leaders should keep in mind as they navigate the complex compliance environment in 2019 and beyond.

  1. Adapt to changing business priorities – understand your compliance obligations

While knowing what you have to comply with may seem obvious, the reality is, the definition of compliance is getting broader. There are demands not only from various government regulators, but other stakeholders as well (investors, customers etc.). The environment has changed and continues to evolve, so adapting your business priorities to being across what you must comply with is vital.

Furthermore, with compliance demands increasing, now more than ever, organisations should invest in dedicated resources to compliance management. Research conducted by SEEK, found that 13.5 per cent of Banking and Finance roles on SEEK are in the areas of Compliance and Risk. Realigning internal resources or hiring new compliance specialists will enable your business to adapt and evolve.

  1. Technology is there to help

A key challenge for leaders is lack of visibility of internal compliance practices. Legacy systems and hierarchical processes can all add to this challenge. Herein lies an opportunity for innovative, cost-effective technology solutions that will enable leaders to manage the new regulatory obligations their organisations face.

Partnerships with RegTechs deliver solutions that help streamline business processes and make compliance easier. However, despite this opportunity, organisations are hesitant. In research recently conducted by TAS, only 23 per cent of leaders said their organisation is currently engaging RegTechs, with a mere three percent actively pursuing RegTechs.

Given what the sector has been through recently, it is unsurprising that there is nervousness around relatively new and untested technology. However, if organisations are to remain relevant in today’s digital world, embracing solutions offered by RegTechs will give you a competitive edge.

  1. Measure your progress

Finally, it is crucial to rigorously monitor the impact of a new compliance approach. Traditional models were designed in a different era with a limited focus on actual risk identification and management. Monitoring should now link to the broader risk-management framework, governance, and processes.

While best-practice models for compliance monitoring are still emerging, leaders who invest in compliance and ensure progress is meeting desired outcomes will enjoy a distinct competitive advantage.

How TAS can help you

In today’s data-driven world, information security is vital. Without proper security, data breaches can occur resulting in costly losses. In fact, information security is one of the fundamental components of compliance.

Regulators and stakeholders demand that leaders take responsibility and are accountable for information security within an organisation.

TAS offers a number of consulting services, including security audits, as well as software solutions to maintain information security and comply with regulatory demands. For more information, contact TAS at sales@tas.business

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01 Feb 2019 Australia needs more Compliance experts, says new industry report

Monday 4 February 2019 – Sydney, Australia. Demand for Risk and Compliance experts in Australia has risen sharply over the last twelve months, and will continue to increase in the year ahead, according to findings from the latest Compliance Index, released today.

The Compliance Index, an industry study conducted by TAS, a leading technology partner for Australia’s financial services sector, found that more than 60 per cent of executives surveyed are seeking to employ as many as 5 additional resources to focus purely on Risk and Compliance management in the year ahead. When compared to the previous year’s Index, this is an increase of close to 20 per cent.

Research conducted by SEEK also found the number of job advertisements for Risk and Compliance specialists have jumped by nearly 50 per cent over the past year. Currently 13.5 per cent of all Banking and Finance roles on SEEK are in the areas of Risk and Compliance[1].

The Index further confirms that compliance is higher on the Boardroom agenda with close to three quarters of surveyed executives reporting increased visibility of compliance across the organisation. This is significantly up by almost 20 per cent when compared to 18 months ago.

Shane Baker, CEO of TAS said, “According to the report, Australian executives are taking a top-down approach to creating positive change in their organisations towards compliance. Leaders are taking the right steps to ensure greater transparency moving forward with increased commitment to specialist resources as well as the prioritisation of compliance at a Board level. This shows executive ownership at the most senior level to meeting regulatory requirements which is critical when creating a company-wide, robust and effective compliance culture.”

However, despite the progression made to-date, the Index also suggests that there are still many challenges that organisations face when it comes to compliance. The top three challenges are: resource constraints (42 per cent), time (35 per cent) and capability (23 per cent). Yet, against these findings, companies appear to be slow on the uptake of innovative partnerships to help overcome these challenges with less than a quarter of organisations activity partnering with RegTechs (23 per cent), three percent actively pursuing future partnership with RegTechs, and a third considering partnerships with RegTechs (32 per cent).

Mr Baker concludes, “It is no surprise that given what the sector has been through recently, there is nervousness around implementing relatively new and untested technology, which may be impacting organisations’ decisions to partner with RegTechs. However, as the demand for skilled experts continues to grow and vacancies remain unfilled, organisations will need to look at alternative resources to meet their regulatory and compliance requirements including innovative partnerships with third parties like RegTechs.” ~ENDS

More about the Compliance Index: TAS initiated the Compliance Index in 2017 to canvass the challenges and opportunities Australian companies are facing in the areas of compliance, regulation, technology and talent. The Index findings are drawn from responses gathered from C-level executives employed across banking, finance, insurance, superannuation and IT, with the aim of providing a timely and relevant snapshot of the latest compliance trends and strategies. A full copy of the 2018-19 report is available at http://tas.business/work/the-compliance-index/.  

 

About TAS (www.tas.business): Founded in 1989, TAS is an Australian-owned and operated provider of technology services to the Australian financial services market. With extensive experience servicing one of the most highly regulated industries – Banking and Finance – TAS delivers the highest levels of availability, compliance and quality of service to over 60 clients.

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21 Dec 2018 ASIC boosts support for regtech

ASIC is ramping its support for regulatory technology businesses or ‘regtechs’ in response to an overwhelming number of organisations expressing frustration over complex compliance burdens.

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21 Dec 2018 TAS study shows compliance costs increasing

Financial services technology provider TAS yesterday launched its inaugural Compliance Index, which revealed the majority of organisations were increasing their spending on compliance, with many calling for regulations to be loosened.

The results, which were shared at an industry roundtable in Sydney, showed 76 per cent of financial services companies were increasing spending on compliance year-on-year, with over half adopting cloud-based measures.

Survey participants also expressed their desire for a reduction in regulatory policies and greater collaboration with regulatory technology firms (regtechs).

Moderated by Australian Accounting Standards Board chief executive Kris Peach, themes touched on during the roundtable centred on the need for a change in attitude, identifying where the risks were and the role compliance played in relation to monitoring those risks.

TAS chief executive Shane Baker said in a world of more onerous compliance requirements, companies were looking for innovative ways to future-proof in the digital age.

“In response to these disruptive market forces, financial services are turning their attention to building cyber-resilience, however, many companies continue to be held back by challenges such as lack of resources and funding, time constraints and talent shortages,” Baker noted.

He said the nature of compliance was changing, with modifications and efficiencies needing to fit in with a variety of organisational departments, such as human resources and finance.

Efficient implementation of new compliance procedures was another issue to be addressed, he said.

He identified the current situation as an opportunity for the industry to gain new insights into risk and compliance issues, promote further collaboration between industry bodies and determine what was on the horizon.

Variations made to technology today needed to be flexible to accommodate future changes, he added.

Grant Thornton head of financial services Madeleine Mattera said standards rose yearly for risk and compliance, and industry cooperation with new players was imperative.

“As technology costs fall and capability increases, there is a unique opportunity to help established institutions innovate by partnering with fintechs and regtechs. Data and technology will be increasingly used to supervise regulated institutions and will shed light on regulation complexities,” Mattera said.

Survey participant Complii Fintech Solutions managing director Alison Sarich said marrying technology with company resources could have a strong impact.
“The sheer size and scale of changing market obligations have made it difficult for organisations to keep up. At a time of growing volatility and speed, the improved use of available technology can ensure internal capabilities, services and offerings remain highly efficient.”

TAS initiated the Compliance Index in response to the shifting regulatory environment in Australia and the challenges facing financial organisations.

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