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Recent global research by Aite Group and Cordium based on a survey of 120 capital markets firms finds:

  • Investment in regulatory technology (regtech) is set to rise further over the next 12 months: 45% have increased investment in dedicated vendor technology for compliance, with a particular focus on cloud-deployed systems
  • 53% have invested in central platforms for compliance documentation tracking and a further 13% are considering introducing such a platform in the next 12 months
  • Only 4% feel they have an entirely strategic approach to regulatory reform and only 2% have fully automated compliance support, leaving firms open to risk from manual processes 

Only 2% of capital markets firms have a fully automated compliance support program, according to an Aite Group and Cordium survey. This high level of dependence on manual processes leaves the industry open to errors, gaps in compliance, a lack of agility in reporting during an audit and ultimately the risk of non-compliance.

Regtech Realities: Moving from Reactive to Proactive Compliance explores the evolving needs of capital markets firms in the face of continued regulatory changes. The report assesses the strategic direction and practicalities of compliance, including workflow and resource challenges and how firms prioritize investment in automation.

Doug Morgan, Group Chief Executive, Cordium, said: “As the pace of regulatory change continues to accelerate, technology solutions that help firms collaborate, manage expanding stakeholder networks and cut through operating noise have become essential. Legacy, piecemeal and manual approaches cannot scale to meet today’s challenges. The good news is that technology is increasingly available to transform traditional processes, enabling compliance officers to work across the firm to achieve buy-in and gain new insights. Compliance teams can implement a technology-focused approach to enhance the overall business and establish a strong compliance culture.”

Virginie O’Shea, Research Director, Aite Group, said: “The industry has been bombarded with a barrage of compliance requirements over the last few years and, as a consequence, must shift from a reactive to a proactive mindset. Firms need to better understand their compliance issues to ensure lessons are learnt for the future. Next generation technologies are rapidly developing to support firms, with cloud deployments proving valuable in the context of increasingly data-intensive regulations, and newer areas such as natural language processing maturing fast. The future of compliance will be characterized by skilled professionals supported by technology at every step.”

Despite risks created by manual processes, trends regarding process management and monitoring are particularly telling. Only 8% of respondents use formal metrics to measure the impact of noncompliance and 43% don’t currently measure it at all.

Morgan continued, “Firms that are failing to take a proactive approach to monitoring and managing compliance are taking a big risk. While it’s entirely understandable that compliance professionals can be consumed managing their day-to-day workloads, firms should look to technology to enhance oversight and future-proof their programs.”

Regtech Realities: Moving from Reactive to Proactive Compliance is based on an online Aite Group and Cordium survey, conducted with capital markets executives with knowledge of compliance technology spending at financial institutions across the globe.

During Q4, Aite Group surveyed 120 financial institutions, with the majority hailing from the buy-side (70% work for asset managers or hedge funds), to capture their views on areas of importance for compliance IT investment and interest in next-gen technology. Given the size and structure of the research sample, the data provides a directional indication of conditions in the market.