As the industry grapples with the idea of remote working becoming the "new normal" for many employees, compliance teams are thinking how to supervise effectively in these new conditions. Achieving regulatory compliance is a constant challenge but even more so now our trading ecosystem has been disrupted almost overnight. How should we build surveillance models now? Where does FinTech fit in? Firms must go back to basics.
Earlier this year, the Voxsmart team were in London at the JWG RegTech conference to discuss how the industry will be winning in the decade ahead. Our CEO, Oliver Blower shared a panel discussion on Holistic Surveillance alongside Paul-Clulow-Phillips, Global Head of Capital Markets Surveillance at Soc Gen, Richard Bain, Vice President at State Street, Stephan Niermann, Head of Group Compliance at N26, Lee Garf, General Manager at NICE Actimize.
As we listened to the various keynotes and discussions on the day, there were some obvious synergies.
The need for industry wide alignment on the subject was clear and this will become ever more apparent as market participants take on Surveillance, not just in the office context but also in the context of working from home.
Time to Triangulate
Without aligning a firm’s people, process, and technology towards one way of thinking, you will not get far in 2020. This seemed to be a general conclusion to come out of the day with many of the sessions focussing on ensuring you are tackling the issues from all angles and making changes across your business, not just in one area. Whether it has a top down approach, driven from the bottom up or in fact both, the biggest risk is not knowing what you are looking for internally, so this needs to be crystal clear from the outset.
Start spending on Data (as an asset, not a cost centre)
We live in a world driven by data, so why is the industry still treating data as an expense? Don’t they say that data is the “new gold”? In order to move forward, our sector must stop thinking that effective data aggregation is costly and difficult and start focusing on the value having that data in one place would bring to the firm, or at the very least, better organised.
This is not to say there are not challenges, especially when this data stretches across asset class, regulations and jurisdiction, but we need to be smarter about how we see our data; aggregate, automate as standard practise and manually manage by exception only.
Nevermind giant leaps, we want agile innovation
We all understand that RegTech will only work if it is end-to-end and that if you feed tech garbage, you get garbage back. However, the holy grail of a ‘holistic’ solution that solves all your compliance problems is still quite a way off yet, in the same way Siri isn't about to serve you a cup of tea anytime soon.
One panellist said that we need to stop “being in denial” about technology and that firms should be working together with tech to solve their problems. And they were right, we need to work together to build and digitise the industry, the way we want it.
So, instead of trying to tackle the bigger problem at hand, try taking smaller steps to solve the smaller pieces of the puzzle first.
Firms should have a holistic view of their enterprise from a data strategy perspective and be able to identify the smaller areas which can be improved. This conference was all about RegTech in 2.0 however, we are not yet in RegTech 1.0 mentioned one panellist. Clean data capture and process automation should be the priority; the time will come to apply analytics and Intelligence on the top.
One thing is certain, and something that is shined through every session we had at the conference; if we burry our head in the sand, in ten years’ time we’ll still be trying to solve problems a decade old.