RegTech - Another label?

By Imran Shariff
on 23 January, 2018
Remember the old trick question, what was the largest island in the world before Greenland was discovered? The answer was Greenland, it was just waiting to be found. Take that same question and spin it a little; ask what was the tech that was used to help organisations comply with regulations before 'RegTech'? Well, it was RegTech, it just hadn't been labelled yet.
Ok, so perhaps I am being a touch liberal there and doing a little injustice to the current development of the tech and the change it is bringing over the older systems but you get the idea. There have long been solutions and systems that corporations have used to help satisfy regulatory requirements.

We have long had solutions that help you:

  • validate your clients identify
  • detect money laundering
  • prevent fraud
  • report on risk controls
And so on.

The fact that we now have a name for it has not changed that. But what it has changed is the focus on it.

And in good time too. The number of regulations being brought to market is ever-increasing. Since the crash of 2007, regulators have worked themselves into the ground in finding ways to ensure that markets operate as safely as possible. This level of change and the consequences of not staying on top of it are of grave concern. You only need to look at some of the fines served up by the FCA over the past few years to see that non-compliance hurts; just ask Deutsche!

To stay ahead of the game and avoid the pain, organisations need to adapt the way they work and adopt technology to help that journey be a lot easier. This is where RegTech comes into play. It's become a battleground for existing and new players in the market who can deliver next gen solutions to deal with:

  • Regulatory reporting
  • Fraud detection
  • Cyber security
  • Market surveillance
  • KYC
  • Risk management
  • Controls automation
  • and others
Due to that level of regulation increasing, its also become a space that is very much evolving and key players are only slowly emerging. One look at the Planet Compliance RegTech Top 100 Power List gives you an idea of who those players are. Look a little closer and watch the changing list and you realise that its not fully established meaning its fertile ground for opportunity.

Even the regulators are getting in on the act and exploring what the RegTech scene can deliver. The FCA recently announced their latest sandbox entrants, where companies can work with the FCA to test out ideas that will help with regulations. It's a pie that many would like a piece of!

2018 will be an interesting year where many more entrants will rise out of tech accelerators and incubators and more than likely see a few of the existing alumni take centre stage to drive home even more change. Should be fun!

(And for any smarty pants out there who wants to point out that Australia is the largest island and not Greenland; Australia is considered as a continentand therefore doesn't count).

First published
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