Ash St. in GRC Professional | Regulations and RegTech

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By Kwame Slusher

There is a shortage of good compliance professionals in Australia.

“You cannot find good compliance people in the industry with deep expertise. Having seen the industry over the last 15 years it has evolved. So, you might have people who have been in the industry for 15 years, but they have an Old-School mentality when it comes to compliance,” Samantha Carroll from Ash St. Lawyers told the attendees of the #AccelerateRegtech Conference earlier this week.

The #Accelerate Regtech is the annual Regtech conference by the Regtech Association.

The panel that Carroll was part of explored the impact that the Hayne Royal Commission has had on the financial industry and considered what this could mean for Regtechs who can automate traditionally manual processes in legal, risk and compliance.

What could have been better about the recommendations?

“The biggest driver of change would be the new regulatory environment, so a lot of the recommendations were focused on forcing people into compliance. So, rather than the ideal situation with people proactively complying they are being told that they need to comply now,” she said.

She argued that there should have been more emphasis in the recommendations on proactive compliance.

“There was more in the interim report around the importance of proactive compliance and that was what was lacking for me in the recommendations. It was more about enforcement, taking exemptions away and fixing the remuneration,” Carroll said.

Suptech to drive Regtech

Could regulatory investment in technology drive industry investment?

The regulatory panel told attendees about their own investment into regulatory technology. ASIC gave an update into their tendering and their testing of natural language processing (NLP).

Cuihua Cartwright from ASIC spoke about their investment in NLP and the $60 million which they received from government to explore some future initiatives in regetch and suptech.

“We are planning host a problem-solving event in the space using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to monitor advice and financial promotion and we are also planning to run a voice analytic trial for sales call s like life insurance calls.” She said. “And we are going to tender with a technology provider to come up with a tool that will provide some assistance to licensing requirements,” Cartwright said.”

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is not in the learning or leading promoting role when it comes to Regtech and Suptech.

APRA’s Katrina Ellis told conference attendees that the prudential regulator is still very much in the learning stage and is not at the level of the of ASIC or the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUTRAC).

“The area where we are active in the area that I’m responsible for, and that is our data transformation program.”

But their focus from a technology perspective is around data collection and the innovating the data.

Ellis also talked about the work that they are doing in the NLP space that will improve the monitoring of their own regulated entities.