Global RegTech Summit 2019 – our wrap up and stand-out thoughts

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The Global RegTech Summit was held last week in the City of London and attended by a broad selection of experts from across the Financial Services and RegTech space. The Caspian team were there for all 3 days and this is our quick wrap up of the key things that stood out for us.

First off, it was brilliant to see AI and Machine Learning discussed so extensively throughout the Summit (as you would expect!). Technology is being embraced, discussed, challenged and evaluated at all levels. It is this kind of leadership that the sector needs for regulatory tech to continue making a fundamental difference if we’re to succeed in fighting criminal activities.

Topics that stood out:

  • Data availability and quality – several sessions and conversations raised the ongoing challenge of acquiring data in relation to better DS modelling and machine training. This is the core to pre-determining the effectiveness of AI for use in specific domains. The collective view remains that access to quality volume data will remain challenging given the restrictions on data sharing from Banks and the relatively under developed organisation of other sources. We remain positive that initiatives including Open Ownership and Open Banking will soon make a difference.
  • POC development – there remains a constant conversation about how to ensure successful POC development and what conditions need to exist for that to happen. Red-tape, slow decision-making and unclear scopes/outcomes remain thorns in the side of the agility, innovation and rapid problem solving that RegTech solution providers can offer. The biggest take away was a reminder that POC should not just mean unpaid work for RegTech providers – many of whom are small-medium sized businesses in relation to their global corporate customers.
  • System maintenance – this came up in several sessions and conversations we had with attendees. It is still apparent that financial services teams are given the budget and resource to implement new technology but are not planning for the ongoing management and optimisation of systems when in place. Making such plans is the only way to get long term gain AND to continuously apply learning’s that will improve performance – especially when you’re dealing with AI based solutions that only get better through constant optimisation.
  • Regulatory compliance vs. fighting financial crime – This remains one of the most complex and much talked about challenges in our industry. And there remains no clarity as to how the most effective focus will be created. The ongoing misalignment between achieving regulatory compliance vs. being serious about fighting and winning against financial crime has so many layers of conflicting interest. It’s great to see the issue being faced but the dirty $billions still flowing unchallenged through our systems tell us what we all know – we’re a long way from resolving this and accountability needs to be aligned across everyone including firms, governments, authorities and RegTech providers.
  • Technology implementation – this subject continues to be very relevant and many of the familiar challenges of technology implementation were raised (time, complexity, corporate red tape) alongside useful insight to help make it successful (such as testing frameworks, being prepared to fail, setting clear scope with focusing on problem solving). We’re still great believers that anything is possible with the right culture and strong leadership. If technology change becomes a core part of transformation projects, then it will always have a greater impetus!

Caspian took to the stage

We also had an opportunity to demonstrate our Caspian Financial Investigation Platform. The audience and interaction were brilliant. Many of the pain points that our solutions solve came to the surface from audience members including the need for faster, more detailed and consistent investigation technology, explainable insight to AI solutions and the inability to cope with high volume complex alerts.

Big thanks to everyone who took the time to come along and if you missed the session, then just drop John Atkinson an email at john.atkinson@caspian.co.uk and he will take you through it.

Overall a great few days that reminded us of the value that events like this have in bringing together a RegTech community of suppliers, buyers, regulators and everyone else in between to support and motivate one another to keep being better.