ASIC Regtech Monitoring Financial Promotions: Demonstration and Symposium

Opening statement by Commissioner Cathie Armour at the ASIC Regtech Monitoring Financial Promotions: Demonstration and Symposium, Friday 2 August 2019

Good morning all, both with us in the room today and watching via our livestreams.

Let me begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we meet today and pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

Welcome everyone to the inaugural event of ASIC’s Regtech Initiatives series.

Today’s problem-solving demonstration and symposium exploring Monitoring Financial Promotions is a bold new step in ASIC’s engagement with the regtech sector.

From 2016, ASIC expanded the scope of its Fintech work to establish as deep an understanding of the regtech space as possible.

We did this, in part, because regtech is about the of use new technologies to solve regulatory and compliance requirements more effectively and efficiently – an issue dear to our heart as a conduct regulator.

We recognise the enormous potential of regtech to help firms build cultures of compliance, identifying learning opportunities, and creating efficiencies around regulatory matters.

But, the most important reason for ASIC engaging so heavily with the sector was best summed up by my colleague, John Price:

'Regtech has the potential to deliver a flawless consumer experience that is safe.'

So driven by our goal of improving outcomes for consumers, ASIC is implementing initiatives designed to create an all-encompassing ecosystem for regtech stakeholders to work together.

ASIC has hosted a collection of engagements bringing together industry, government, and other regulators.

These included: Roundtables, quarterly Regtech Liaison Forums, Regulator Meet-Ups, as well as facilitating face-to-face meetings, and providing informal assistance.

During these discussions, we have looked to you all for guidance about every aspect of regtech.

Conversations started from a technical perspective, investigating:

  • the possibilities of big data and machine learning
  • real-time monitoring bringing front and back-end business capabilities ever closer together, and
  • The implications of data ownership through ever evolving business models and technical innovations.

Difficult discussions have been held about the  conduct of business and what contributions and responsibilities regulators, government, and the industry have.

Considerations included:

  • highlighting good cultural outcomes for effective compliance and dealing with poor cultural agents
  • how industry changes will shape the future of work and equipping the workforce with the appropriate training and development strategies, as well as,
  • where ASIC and other regulators sit in this wider ecosystem, with insights into how to best approach this new frontier with an open mind.

Each engagement helped immensely in identifying key themes and emerging opportunities that the sector sees as important,

But the greatest takeaway we received from you was probably that last point: to keep an open mind.

'Keeping an open mind' was a driver in ASIC establishing this current series of events.

We are using some of the special purpose regtech funding ASIC received from the Federal Government for FY2019-2020, to set the industry a series of challenges, provide some fundamental building blocks, and to see how you have responded.

And today’s first session (seeking to improve compliance standards for promotions across the banking, finance, and credit industry) would not have been possible without the enthusiastic set of demonstrators preparing to present.

The same sentiment extends to our Financial Advice Files event on Thursday, the 22nd of August, which is looking into improving financial advice compliance for better consumer outcomes.

ASIC is determined to listen and learn from the sector.

And it’s a view shared across most institutions engaging with this space, both domestically and abroad.

Currently AUSTRAC is conducting regular Regtech Engagement Sessions, as well as collaborating with The RegTech Association to run a series of Collab Tech Sprint throughout the year.

APRA has also continued to increase its engagement with the regtech space this year, looking to overhaul its entire ecosystem around regulatory reporting.

Beyond Australia, ASIC continues participating with international networks, such as the Global Financial Innovation Network and the International Organization of Securities Commissions Fintech Networks.

These help establish greater cross-border efficiencies for regtechs to harness foreign prospects, while also allowing us to exchange knowledge with international regulators and government bodies.

The Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, for example, continues to have deep engagement with regtech focused on addressing problems in the anti-money laundering and financial crimes space.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore continues to delve ever deeper into machine learning and big data analytics.

By keeping these domestic and international channels open, ASIC can focus on what is of fundamental importance to us: exploring opportunities with all of you.

Returning to this point of exploring, listening and learning:

  • We are uncertain of the full future potential of regtech.
  • And the success of this month’s events (and future ones) will not necessarily be measured by the volume of data analysed, or by the accuracy of the solutions demonstrated.
  • Instead, their success will be measured by how much of a glimpse into the future they offer us… because we will reflect on everything seen and heard today.
  • No doubt we will continue to cover common issues and questions around: industry standards; the role of the various stakeholders; the role of government and regulators; cross-border trials; the making available of datasets; etc.
  • But by approaching every one of these initiatives with an open mind, we will continue to be one step closer to either a definitive answer, a fundamental innovation, or a set of tools and solutions that do indeed 'deliver flawless consumer experiences that are safe.'

I want to thank our hosts, PwC, as well as the demonstrators, commentators, and panellists for their insightful contributions to today's proceedings – without them this event would not have been possible.

I would also like to thank you all for attending, and those watching live from other sites. And I would like to thank the team at ASIC’s Innovation Hub who have worked so hard on this event.

We hope you enjoy today’s Regtech Monitoring Financial Promotions Demo and Symposium.

And we hope to see you at more events like these, as well as many of the other engagements we, and our collaborators, host across the regtech space.

On with the event...


Last updated: 02/08/2019 12:00