BBVA’s Innovation Center in Madrid hosted today the first global RegTech event,organized by the Institute of International Finance (IIF).
The event was devised to foster interaction between regulators, financial institutions and technology firms specializing in the development of solutions aimed at supporting the regulatory compliance efforts of the banking industry. The meeting was attended by prominent members of the IIF, including BBVA’s Executive Chairman.
The meeting consisted of a quick round of presentations by six RegTech startups: Ayasdi, Global Blochchain Labs Engagement (IBM), Onfido, Silicon Valley Bank, Suade y Sybenetix. Their managers presented their latest digital regulatory compliance solutions for banks. Also, top representatives of key financial institutions and the public sector shared their insights with RegTech companies into the key challenges that banks face when trying to comply with applicable regulations. The roster of participants included senior figures of the financial sector, such as Douglas Flint (HSBC), Axel Weber (UBS), John Cryan (Deutsche Bank) or Jaime Caruana (BIS).
Francisco González took to the stand during the event’s opening session, accompanied by IIF Chairman Tim Adams. BBVA’s Executive Chairman explained that BBVA’s Innovation Center offers the perfect setting for an event of such characteristics, as it plays a key role in the digital transformation of the banking sector. “In this space, we are constantly developing projects and setting up events that focus on the latest innovation and technology trends,” he remarked. “Our teams engage with the financial innovation ecosystem, where there is room for entrepreneurs, opinion leaders, startups, developers and other key industry players, to collaborate in the development of the technology that’s changing financial services.”
In his opinion, new exponential technologies are changing many paradigms in the financial industry, and not only from a risk management or regulatory compliance standpoint. “These technologies open the door to a one-way disruptive, process where the customer will ultimately emerge as the biggest winner,” he explained. “I am referring to the possibility of radically cutting operating costs and speeding-up new product rollout processes, and of breaking into new markets and multiply several times the productivity of our investments,” he added.
Francisco González considers that the banking sector is facing unprecedented disruption. A growing number of startups are joining the 20,000+ traditional financial institutions that already crowd the market, addressing different segments of the value chain. “Many banks and startups will disappear, and, on top of it all, sooner or later, the tech giants will make their move,” he predicted. In this context, “the banks that manage to survive will no longer be banks, but service companies and financial solution providers, competing in a completely different ecosystem,” he said.
BBVA’s executive chairman expressed his conviction that only players capable of earning their customers’ trust, through extreme transparency, without generating conflicts of interest and aggregating the best offering thanks to exponential technologies, will be able to come out on top.
BBVA has been gearing up to stand up to the challenge since 2007, when it began investing heavily to completely overhaul its technological infrastructures. One or two years ago, it created the Digital Banking division. Last year it announced a new structure in the organization to place the institution’s transformation at the core of its business, bolster results in the short-term and build the capabilities required to compete in the financial industry of the 21st century.