Regtech rises up the agenda in Australia

Regtech rises up the agenda in Australia

Two Australian fintech associations have welcomed a commitment by the country's securities regulator to step up research and investment in technologies that could help ease the compliance burden for new companies entering financial services.

The RegTech Association and FinTech Australia joined forces to welcome the release of a new report by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission entitled 'Asic’s Innovation Hub and our approach to regulatory technology'.

The report defines regtech as technology that helps businesses comply with regulations efficiently and inexpensively. These technologies could include use of artificial intelligence, natural language processing, data reporting, regulatory codification and big data analysis technologies.

Asic commissioner John Price says: "Asic believes regulatory technology can help organisations build a culture of compliance, identify learning opportunities, and save time and money on regulatory matters while improving compliance and outcomes for consumers."

The report proposes a number of initiatives, including:
• Establishing a new regtech liaison group, comprising industry, technology firms, academics, consultancies, regulators and consumer bodies.
• Continued use of technology trials, expanding on existing trials into areas such as machine-learning to assess documents for evidence, and tools which analyse webpages in the self-managed superannuation fund sector.
• Hosting a regtech hackathon later in 2017

The report comes as Asic’s regulatory sandbox begins to take shape, with the first entity able to make use of the class waiverfintech licensing exemption from mid-May.

RegTech Association chairman Julian Fenwick said the report helped build understanding of Asic’s regtech priorities. “We wouldn’t want this report to be the first and last word on regtech from the Australian Government but it is a fantastic start to help promote our Australian regtech industry."

FinTech Australia CEO Danielle Szetho, is equally effusive: “Asic’s strong focus on regtech is warmly welcomed, as it sends a signal both globally and domestically that Australia’s top financial services regulator considers this area as a major priority for innovation.”

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