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ASIC encouraging financial firms to adopt regtech

The corporate regulator has announced three events to promote the adoption of regulatory technology by financial services firms.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced three events in Sydney aimed at encouraging financial services firms to adopt regulatory technology (regtech) solutions.

The corporate watchdog’s announcement states that the events are opportunities for regtech providers of all sizes to showcase their solutions to representatives from government, finance, technology, media and other relevant sectors.

Particularly, 10 regtech providers will be selected to demonstrate how their solutions can: “monitor, identify and analyse financial advertising promotions to determine compliance”; “improve the detection of problematic financial advice in datasets”, and “demonstrate the capabilities, benefits and costs of [using] voice analytics and voice-to-text [technologies]”.

Both the demonstrators and the regtech providers that unsuccessfully apply to participate in the demonstrations will be provided access to a “test dataset”.

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According to ASIC commissioner John Price, “there is a real need for new regulatory approaches... to provide better outcomes for consumers”.

“Regtech is something we are keenly interested in, both as a consumer of products and a facilitator of engagement, more generally to ensure innovation in this area is utilised,” he added.

According to the corporate regulator, regtech has the potential to help firms “build a culture of compliance, identify learning opportunities and save time and money on [regulation-related activities]”, while also supporting ASIC in how it carries out its work and engages with different industries.

ASIC said it is currently undertaking a trial to “explore how it can communicate the application of its financial services and credit licensing requirements via a Licensing Technology-Assisted Guidance (TAG) Tool”.

The regulator in April revealed it was evaluating the use of voice analytics and voice-to-text technologies to identify and eliminate unethical sales tactics being applied in life insurance sales phone calls more efficiently from a resource and time perspective.

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Currently, sales call reviews involve “individuals listening to calls multiple times to assess them for compliance”.

In laying out the vision for ASIC’s post-royal commission supervisory approach – especially as the final report criticised the regulator’s handling of serious breaches in the financial sector – chair James Shipton indicated that the regulator would move from a reactive to proactive approach, looking at “factors that create significant risk of future breaches”.

Part of this approach involves the adoption of “new frontiers”, which Mr Shipton in March described as “regulation’s ‘next generation’ of tools and approaches through leading developments in behavioural economics, data analytics and regulatory technology”.

One of the events is scheduled for Friday, 2 August, and another for Thursday, 22 August, with the third event expected to take place in “late 2019”.

The corporate regulator said it intends to release further details on the test datasets, application criteria and relevant timelines for submission later in May.

[Related: APRA reveals ‘constructively tough’ enforcement approach]

 

ASIC encouraging financial firms to adopt regtech
ASIC
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