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RegTech studies in 2019: Highlights & take-aways

By Johanna Messer, Content Marketing Manager, Apiax

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by Apiax
| 05/11/2019 12:00:00

We never stop being amazed by the amount of knowledge, dedication and curious minds out there

As the sector continues to flourish, many efforts have been made to capture the growing scope of RegTech. Ranging from empirical studies, industry surveys and expert commentary, these comprehensive reports deliver powerful insights and unique opinions on the opportunities, challenges and future of RegTech.

We are also intrigued by the thousands of practitioners worldwide who have voiced their thoughts on best practices and what lies ahead in the world of legal & compliance.

There truly is a goldmine of RegTech insight to be explored. That is why we put together a list of must-read RegTech reports and studies in 2019.

The Global RegTech Industry Benchmark Report
Carried out by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, with the sponsorship of EY Japan, The Global RegTech Industry Benchmark Report is the centre’s first ever analysis of the global RegTech industry (which we had the pleasure to take part in!).

We find it very comprehensive and thorough with great datasets revealing valuable insights. Based on a survey including 111 RegTech firms (Apiax being one of them) and in-depth qualitative interviews with industry experts and regulators, its purpose is:

  • to build an evidence-based and data-driven classification of RegTech firms
  • to establish industry benchmark figures on the size, growth and activities of RegTech firms using this market segmentation
  • to better understand the key stakeholders and components of the global RegTech ecosystem as it develops.

The report findings point at a rapidly growing and technology-enabled global industry. It serves an increasingly diversified customer base whilst testing new use cases and value propositions, establishing more and more trust as it matures.

Other findings show how RegTech is not entirely a new industry — despite many elements contrasting it from its predecessors, such as new market entrants, product development, delivery methods (on the cloud, via APIs) as well as the common expectation of turning compliance into an end-to-end process.

The global RegTech industry is highly internationalised with developed and distinct market segments. The technologies and the functional characteristics of vendors’ solutions span across the following areas:

  • Profiling and Due Diligence
  • Reporting and Dashboards
  • Risk Analytics
  • Dynamic Compliance
  • Market Monitoring

Thanks to regulatory changes in the recent past, RegTech firms are now operating in a more favourable environment and the sector is likely to see double-digit growth as it matures, with industry forecasts pointing to a year-on-year growth of between 23% and 25% between 2018 and 2023.

EY Regulatory Technology
Navigating the right technology to manage the evolving regulatory environment sets the scope for EY Regulatory Technology, which addresses technologies in the regulatory reporting space, bringing efficiency to financial institutions.

These include:

  • report automation platforms
  • visual analytics
  • robotics
  • next-generation data architecture
  • business process management.

In other words, Ernst & Young’s prime focus in this study is the report production process — leaving aside, this time, other technology platforms such as traditional data warehouses and subledgers.

The aim is to encourage institutions to re-evaluate their existing processes and consider new technology to improve operational efficiency in the regulatory reporting process.

While the future of RegTech brings automation, standardisation and simplification, the next generation solutions will also likely act, think and behave like humans when addressing particular needs of compliance capabilities and establishing a focus on the end user.

According to the study, RegTech is continuously evolving. This is to some extent dependent on regulators, RegTech firms, professional service organisations and financial institutions who will need to work together in a joint effort to continue innovation, reduce overall costs of compliance and accurately and effectively report to the regulators.

EY also presents examples of various RegTech solutions across the regulatory compliance capabilities, making this report a brilliant thought exercise about the numerous applications of RegTech tools that will bring innovation to the sector.

Fintech, Regtech & the Role of Compliance Report 2019
Remaining one of the most cited reports in the RegTech community, Fintech, Regtech and the Role of Compliance Report 2019 is Thomson Reuters’ third global survey assessing the impact of the developments in RegTech and FinTech, including role, remit, and expectations of the compliance function in the financial services sector.

Based on opinions of international compliance and risk practitioners from almost 400 financial services firms, the research provides meaningful insight into how they respond to the challenges and benefits presented by the digital and technological transformation.

The report foresees a growing need to inject specialist skills into risk and compliance departments in order for firms to realise the full potential offered by FinTech, RegTech and InsurTech. It is also important for organisations to be more involved in assessing the implications of Fintech innovation — both in legal & compliance as well as board level. Other challenges identified include budgetary limitations, together with the need for robust cyber resilience.

On the upside, respondents continue to report that the successful deployment of FinTech/RegTech should drive up efficiency and effectiveness, freeing up more time to focus on value-add activities. The biggest benefits can be seen in firms focusing on process with the potential to automate with increased accuracy and speed.

For us, the biggest take-away from this analysis is that in order for a truly sustainable digital transformation to happen, a change of culture is required, extending from the leadership and digital innovation teams to all parts of the firm’s operations and key stakeholders.

There’s a revolution coming: Embracing the challenge of the new RegTech era
This assertive paper from KPMG China, originally published by KPMG UK, states that financial institutions should view RegTech as part of the wider digital transformation process that the industry is grappling with.

There’s a revolution coming: Embracing the challenge of the new RegTech era, once more, confirms that attitude is a game-changer. Digital transformation requires a rethink of the whole business model and a redesign that spans the middle and back office as well as the front office — including risk and compliance.

Moreover, it adds that RegTech is on the cusp of a breakthrough that has the potential to transform the industry’s approach to compliance and create additional value, giving some real-world examples of success stories and improvements using RegTech solutions.

Driven by increased investment in new technologies and digital transformation, greater regulatory acceptance, extensive infrastructure development and the healthy growth of economies, Asia-Pacific is expected to become the new engine of RegTech growth and innovation, thus it is a good market to watch out for.

It is also expected that regulators will become major users and beneficiaries of RegTech, as they embrace new technologies to meet their supervisory challenges. The report raises this question for companies: The regulators are adopters — are you?

We agree that the benefits can be realised today and that RegTech not only helps to reduce the cost of compliance. It can also provide leading financial institutions with a first mover advantage over competitors who have yet to unlock the true potential of RegTech. We find this study intriguing, not only because of its findings, but because it lays the groundwork for future research.

Cost of Compliance Report 2019
Marking the 10th anniversary, Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence delivers a focused view of the global regulatory environment in the Cost of Compliance Report 2019.

This year’s report looks at the challenges financial services firms expect to face in the years ahead and cover other important key topics, such as budgets, personal liability, outsourcing and regulatory change.

Almost 900 senior risk and compliance practitioners worldwide participated in the survey, representing firms across all sectors and sizes of the financial services industry, including banking, insurance, broker-dealers and asset management.

This edition builds on data from previous years’ research and, where relevant, highlights year-on-year and regional trends. Emphasising the three key areas of change in legal & compliance— culture & conduct risk, personal liability and technology — the report stresses that, despite the numerous challenges, there are huge potential benefits to firms and customers alike.

Having successful RegTech solutions on a secure IT infrastructure, deployed by highly skilled in-house specialists, allows organisations to automate future compliance activities and focus on more ‘value-add’ matters.

While it is extremely difficult for firms to factor out the monetary costs associated with compliance alone, one recent report from KPMG expects that RegTech will make up 34% of all regulatory spending by 2020, with a forecast RegTech spend of USD 76bn — a significant increase from USD 10.6bn in 2017.

These and other interesting numbers are the reason why we find this report one of the most solid study resources for anyone looking for objective and actionable information on the status of RegTech internationally.

2019 ACC Chief Legal Officers (CLO) Survey
Each year, the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) conducts a global study of the issues and environment in which chief legal officers (CLOs) operate.

The 2019 ACC Chief Legal Officers (CLO) Survey contains details on the evolving role of the CLO and dives deep into data on reporting structure, business decisions, staffing and budget predictions of more than 1,600 CLOs in 55 countries.

We believe that the findings of this paper are extremely insightful and elucidative about the importance of the role that CLOs play in firms. Supporting the importance of having a CLO who is well positioned to influence corporate strategy, this report also tell us that independent research have suggested the positive influence that a well-positioned CLO has on a company’s compliance and legal exposure. According to ACC’s analysis of organisational structure in Fortune 500 companies (ACC Age of the CLO Annual Data Project 2018), 93 percent of Fortune 500 CLOs have a direct reporting line to the CEO. Furthermore, this survey shows that data breaches, regulatory changes and information privacy top the list of concerns in 2019.

Additionally, the respondent CLOs report that new regulations, brand and reputation issues and disruptive technology should have significant impact on company decisions during this year. When asked which single issue, among those they rated extremely important, would have the greatest impact on legal departments in the coming year, M&A and regulatory changes share the top spot for most of them.

A New Paradigm for Regulatory Change and Compliance
Conducted by the RegTech Council, A New Paradigm for Regulatory Change and Compliance demonstrates how regulations can be processed using open-standards-based semantic technologies and how compliance can be made more efficient and effective.

More specifically, it sets out to define the benefits such an approach can offer regulators and financial firms by mapping compliance imperatives onto impacted business activities.

The primary requirement for the success of such endeavours is collaboration among financial institutions in creating a common language based on human and machine-readable integrated regulatory and business vocabularies and rules.

Having implemented a proof of concept using this approach in order to reduce the costs of regulatory compliance in investment banks, among other things, the paper concludes that:

  • in transitioning to the proposed new technology paradigm based on semantically-enabled digital and computational models, there will be significant cultural and institutional obstacles to be negotiated;
  • a change of approach is necessary among regulators, firms and their suppliers to support this change, also requiring common methods and technology design patterns, along with supporting capability models for good governance; and finally,
  • the faster the collective transition to this new paradigm, the greater the savings and the better the outcomes.

Clearly a very exciting experiment, and although it does not mean it will be easy to implement a full end-to-end real-world solution, this proof of concept is very much worth a read and shares valuable teachings throughout.

Global State of FinTech Report 2018
In this valuable report, MEDICI presents the point of view on the forthcoming developments that were expected to take shape in 2018 and beyond in the FinTech sector.

The Global State of FinTech Report 2018, provides an extensive coverage of the dynamically changing affairs of the global FinTech landscape, including key focus areas such as payments, remittance, blockchain, lending, AI/ML and InsurTech.

Along with recent advancements and implementations in these areas and collaboration between banks & FinTech startups, there are incredible developments in technology shaping the experience of new financial services.

MEDICI presents structured, deep-dive insights on the current state and the recent developments in the global landscape. The report tracks the gradual shift in the focus areas within FinTech mentioned above and provide insightful commentary of trends in 2018.

Burnmark RegTech 2.0 Study
Published by Burnmark in partnership with Alvarez & Marsal, the RegTech 2.0 Study focuses on the emerging trends within the RegTech space. Looking at all the things that have worked well with RegTech in the past, as well as the challenges, the study aims to predict what could be some of the challenges and trends in the next phase of RegTech.

Three different approaches were followed in the report:

  • interviewing 45+ RegTech startups to understand the challenges and opportunities they face in scaling up;
  • speaking to global banks and regulatory bodies to understand external viewpoints on what could help RegTech achieve success faster; and
  • using existing knowledge with Alvarez & Marsal as well as with Burnmark on live RegTech implementations within banks.

Its main assumption is that, equipped with past learnings and strong support from regulators and governments across the world, the RegTech 2.0 phase is at an inflexion point for a new era of efficient and effective compliance powered by technology. Nevertheless, its implementation success requires wider-ranging and value-added collaborations across all parties.

Just like finding efficient ways to get a technology solution understood, approved and deployed — rethinking the existing compliance models and its global impact are also part of the puzzle.

In our opinion, this study is both timely and accurate, providing a good amount of data in an accessible form.

World of RegTech
Presented in a slightly different format, Raconteur’s World of RegTech offers a 360 degree view RegTech landscape.

As well as putting the spotlight on 391 international RegTech firms — ranging from account verification, general compliance, data capture & integration, monitoring, risk analysis, regulatory analysis & training and reporting — this infographic outlines the industry needs in regulatory compliance and how global financial services are deploying RegTech solutions.

The infographic also provides easy-to-digest findings on RegTech budgetary situations, the underlying technology of RegTech solutions and the top benefits of RegTech for financial services ranked by firms, regulators and trade associations.

Clear and visually appealing, this format chosen by Raconteur is a great way to represent the intricacies of the RegTech world in a simple, efficient way and that is why we love it!

Lately, the term RegTech has boomed across industries and sectors. The way we see it, RegTech is no longer a buzzword as it has made its key, standing function in regulatory monitoring and compliance practices around the world. The studies above help prove this point.

Research and discussion is ongoing and we look forward to an enlightening new year with 2020 editions of the most important documentation of the RegTech industry. We will keep you posted along the way.

If you wish to explore more industry resources, head over to our guide article The RegTech Landscape 2019.

Did we forget to mention a genius report? A hidden gem of RegTech research deserving its place on this list? Revolutionary reading waiting to be explored?

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