Introduction to RegTech

Are you wondering what RegTech is? Struggling to understand who it’s for or what it entails? Then you’ve come to the right place. The RegTech concept is revolutionising compliance and for a very good reason. RegTech enables companies to grow while complying with even the most complex regulations. And that’s exactly why you should know all about it now.

As the RegTech concept is based on keeping up to date with all the latest developments, we decided to give you a comprehensive overview of the RegTech landscape. We cover a variety of aspects, from basic definitions and background to industry associations, to our favourite reading.

So sit back, buckle up and enjoy your introduction to RegTech. It’s time to share our insights.

11 Main RegTech Causes

What are the causes of RegTech? In the broader literature, there are two widely held perspectives on the RegTech revolution. In the first version, RegTech is exclusively the consequence of the 2008 financial crisis and the regulatory tsunami it triggered. In the second version, RegTech is only an add-on to FinTech and the related demand for the digital processing of regulations.

At Apiax, we do not believe that any one of these explanations alone can convincingly capture the phenomenon. Instead, we find that the RegTech revolution is the result of a number of broad and powerful forces. Therefore, we present to you 11 causes on why RegTech is important.

1. 2008 financial crisis

The regulatory environment has been constantly expanding since the financial crisis of 2008. The never-ending stream of new regulations coming from the public, government and regulators led to an explosion in the scope and complexity of the regulatory environment. RegTech helps to meet these challenges efficiently.

2. Technology

Technological developments are another important cause of the RegTech revolution. Obvious, but still relevant and true: technological developments enable new ways of dealing with regulatory challenges and thus bring new and exciting business ideas to the minds of entrepreneurs.

3. FinTech

As Forbes writes in this article, the FinTech revolution has spawned numerous innovations that have led to a strong demand for regulatory technology solutions. Many FinTech innovations require the integration of digital regulations into their solutions in order for them to work efficiently.

4. New standards

PSD2, Open Banking, an emerging API economy and cloud computing—just to name a few—are new technologies that financial services providers are trying to keep up with. Sometimes RegTech solutions are a response to these developments, and sometimes they make them possible.

5. Digital habits

Customers demand services and products that match their increasing digital habits. Products and services must be accessible on mobile devices and communication must take place on digital channels. RegTech solutions help to make these offerings compliant.

6. Competition

The intelligent implementation of new technologies by new market participants is a challenge for the entire spectrum of financial services offered today and in the future. Some of these new entrants are established technology companies in other fields. They understand the potential of regulatory technology and are pushing into this area with vigour.

7. Cost pressure

With increasing cost sensitivity, RegTech helps to increase productivity and efficiency. It also offers improved traceability and auditability as a welcomed side effect.

8. RegTech for regulators

We believe that regulators will soon distribute regulations digitally. Financial service providers will transform these regulations seamlessly into digital rules. In this new reality, regulatory experts will require an entirely new and digital workplace. Read more in our blog post.

9. RegTech against cybersecurity

Financial services companies need to follow very concise regulations and restrictions, including when it comes to cybersecurity. Regulatory technology can help companies by supplying continuous monitoring of security compliance. Read more in our blog post.

10. New compliance risks

The 2020 pandemic and its impact on workplace mobility has led many companies to adopt cloud-based interaction systems. Softwares like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype are the new normal. However, this inadvertently leads to new compliance risks and potential breaches.

11. Unachieved growth goals

RegTech is not only born out of the need to reduce risks and costs when it comes to regulatory compliance. It also enables companies to achieve growth targets that would otherwise be out of their reach.

What is RegTech

Regulation is one of several services that have recently been given the ‘tech’ affix. While the definition of RegTech means different things to different people, regulatory technology has certainly received a lot of attention with increasing regulatory complexity and regulatory costs. Below, we present and discuss some of the most common RegTech meanings to bring some clarity to the topic. So, what is RegTech?

  • Investopedia “RegTech is the management of regulatory processes within the financial industry through technology. The main functions of RegTech include regulatory monitoring, reporting, and compliance. Regtech, or RegTech, consists of a group of companies that use cloud computing technology through software-as-a-service (SaaS) to help businesses comply with regulations efficiently and less expensively. RegTech is also known as regulatory technology.”
  • Financial Conduct Authority “RegTech applies to new technologies developed to help overcome regulatory challenges in financial services.”
  • Wikipedia “Regulatory technology (abbreviation: RegTech) is a new technology that uses information technology to enhance regulatory processes. With its main application in the Financial sector, it is expanding into any regulated business with a particular appeal for the Consumer Goods Industry. Often regarded as a subcategory under FinTech, RegTech puts a particular emphasis on regulatory monitoring, reporting and compliance and is thus benefiting the finance industry. The objective of RegTech is to enhance transparency as well as consistency and to standardise regulatory processes, to deliver sound interpretations of ambiguous regulations and thus to provide higher levels of quality at lower cost. Oftentimes RegTech companies use the cloud through software-as-a-service.”
  • Institute of International Finance “RegTech is the use of new technologies to solve regulatory and compliance burdens more effectively and efficiently.”
  • CB Insights “We define RegTech broadly to include any technology and/or software created to address regulatory challenges and help companies understand regulatory requirements and stay compliant. Companies in this space help customers meet compliance standards, ensure risk management protocols are in place, and put in place controls that actively mitigate risk. This technology ranges from complementing existing compliance, audit, and risk workflows to replacing and wholly automating them through leveraging cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the blockchain.”
  • EY “RegTech is often misunderstood and confused with FinTech. While FinTech refers to the use of technologies and software to provide financial services, RegTech is the use of new technologies to address the increasingly dense data landscape required to meet regulatory compliance challenges.”
  • AIR RegTech Manifesto “The term for the digital technology emerging in financial regulation is ‘RegTech’ or ‘RegTech’. The word is widely used with two meanings. First, it refers to ‘RegTech for regulators’, versions of which are often called supervisory tech, or ‘SupTech’. Second, it also denotes technology for use by the financial industry to comply with laws and regulatory rules. These two streams of RegTech – one for the regulator and one for the industry as they work on the same core problems – are mirror images of each other. They share the same kinds of technologies, rooted in common sources of digitised information and data flows.”

What is the difference between RegTech and FinTech

Although we see both walking hand in hand, RegTech and FinTech are independent of each other and address different needs. The FinTech revolution has created numerous innovations that have led to a robust demand for RegTech solutions. Many FinTech innovations require integration of digital regulations into their existing solutions to make them work efficiently.

According to Andrew Yuille, Head of Risk Business Solutions at Thomson Reuters, “RegTech is looking at how institutions, banks, insurance companies or even regulated entities can comply with regulation and do it in a more efficient way. FinTech is looking at innovative solutions, typically for consumers, in the little gaps left by financial services organisations, bigger banks or insurance businesses.”

RegTech definition: A discussion

What unites the above RegTech definitions is the idea that RegTech involves the use of new technologies to address regulatory challenges. Although some of them are perhaps too specific in their meaning, they rightly emphasise technology’s central role in promoting regulatory compliance and organisational efficiency and productivity.

At Apiax, we share this idea. We also understand that the knock-on effect of RegTech involves freed-up internal resources, allowing organisations to shift their focus towards business development and growth initiatives.

What do Apiax experts think?

RegTech solutions can enable compliance by design. If processes are designed in such way that people have no other option but to follow them, the error rate goes down significantly. Equally as important is the reduction of control efforts that comes with this set-up. And not to mention the huge cost savings.

Andreas Strässle, Regulatory Engineer
Read full interview

RegTech transforms the process response time from days to seconds. Traditional compliance services are heavily dependent on thorough human analysis of documents. Finding the required case and answers can take hours or even days. Transforming this process into a one-second action is for me the key enabler of RegTech.

Pedro Amaral, Software Engineer
Read full interview

RegTech is used to optimise the regulatory management processes and make compliance knowledge accessible and actionable to everyone.

Adriana Azevedo, Product Owner
Read full interview

My biggest issue with the term RegTech is its strong association with FinTech. In my opinion, RegTech is a subset of GovTech, which refers to accessing the law in a useful, actionable way. It just so happens to have taken hold in the financial services industry with its high regulatory scrutiny and undergoing wave of technological innovation. But I can definitely see a broader application of its capabilities in other industries as well.

Alan Blanchard, Country Head UK
Read full interview

Whilst RegTech automatically solves and implements routine inquiries, compliance officers are empowered to focus on their core business objectives: manage risks on a strategic level and seize opportunities.

Ralf Huber, Co-Founder, Legal & Compliance
Read full article

RegTech Recap 2020

Regulatory watchdogs frequently revisit regulations to keep up with new technology, financial crime and industry-based risks. This poses a challenge for businesses and financial institutions complying with the ever-stringent laws.

Last year, we reported that penalties emerging would be one of the biggest concerns for businesses. We based this prediction on an article published by the International Banker, in which they state that the global compliance spending by banks reaches more than $270 billion a year, with an average of 10–15% of the workforce engaged in compliance processes.

Here are the 7 RegTech trends we encouraged you to look out for in 2020.

1. Cloud becomes core to deliveries in regulatory compliance

RegTech deployment on the cloud is picking up speed. Innovative cloud-based services and niche deliveries are taking shape, as the RegTech ecosystem gets a strong foothold within the compliance landscape. Barriers to adoption are breaking down, as the transition of compliance operations is happening more seamlessly. For instance, data sharing, near real-time checks, customised solutions for compliance-as-a-service, or dedicated tools for various touch points of compliance like customer onboarding and new business relationships.

With GDPR being a core requirement of EU countries and businesses operating within the EU jurisdiction, companies and regulated professionals are looking at ways to address applicable data protection rules and ways to comply. A critical aspect that is gaining steam is the design of enterprise systems for automated compliance using innovative SaaS API models.

2. Unabated digital transformation of regulations

Whether it be MiFID II, GDPR, AML, FinSA or FinIA, the terminology of text-based directives can be daunting even to the most seasoned professionals. By digitalising text-based compliance manuals into powerful digital regulatory data and bringing them under a single loupe, regulatory technology emerges as a powerful facilitator. What is more, the use of ‘compliance by design’ reinforces the culture of compliance.

Compliance programmes are being designed for seamless and automated monitoring, checking and report generation. This supports the organisational response to smart policies, by blocking or passing actions based on the law. As a “compliance layer”, such rules ensure across-the-board regulatory compliance for various business types, industries, geographies and other laws.

Compliance automation minimises the risks of human error, reduces operational costs and supervisory controls, and averts potential penalties by proving a robust system of compliance and organisational agility.

It is about “unleashing the potential of regulatory digital rule sets and making them applicable to day-to-day work”, says Apiax Regulatory Engineer Andreas Strässle. Read the full interview.

3. RegTech helps strategise the regulatory impact of business decisions

While ROI is an established benchmark for business performance, regulatory technology is fast becoming essential for measuring the regulatory impact and viability of business decisions and commercial initiatives.

Digital tools allow identification and implementation of relevant laws and frameworks for multi-jurisdictional navigation and easy compliance. With the right solutions in place, high-risk factors can be identified at the click of a button as well as the regulatory impact on the chosen business strategy.

Whether expanding within or beyond established market segments, digital tools provide clear answers to regulatory inquiries, essential to help define direction of travel and appropriate business actions.

4. RegTech solutions to reinforce banking compliance in Singapore

The evolution of Singapore as a leading financial centre and regional hub makes it particularly in need of regulatory technology solutions. But, what is RegTech in banking? RegTech tools help banking businesses comply with relevant regulations such as KYC, AML/CTF, and PSD2/GDPR/PDPA in a more intuitive, accurate and efficient manner.

Through API technology, organisations can “plug in” the compliance function into the existing business infrastructure as a compliance layer.

Therefore, more RegTech for banks. We can expect more banks in Singapore to integrate RegTech solutions into their programmes in an effort to master local and international regulatory frameworks.

5. Tax-efficient investment support for businesses — the new RegTech tour de force

As tax authorities ramp up the scope of governance, RegTech has stepped in as a vital means of offering profitable, tax-efficient investment advice.

Digital tools help investment professionals at each point in the value chain, from developing investor profiles, to producing promotional material and allocating assets.

RegTech solutions identify relevant tax rules and help predict their impact on investment strategies, which is essential wealth management insight.

With accurate tax impact calculations and after-tax performance, modern tools are essential for wealth managers wanting to develop viable investment ideas.

Want more tips? Download our free whitepaper.

6. RegTech finds wide adoption by the Regulators

As regulatory pressure builds up, organisations and regulators alike struggle to interpret the broad scope of business application. In the past year, we have seen significant industry-wide ambiguity as regulators themselves have struggled to give advice on their own rules (read full article).

We therefore expect country regulators to make use of regulatory technology to digitalise and decode lengthy regulations. RegTech’s sophisticated capabilities can assess case-specific risks and make available global databases to users at various touch points, while forming new business relationships and making checks against trade-based money laundering.

RegTech emerges as the ultimate solution for facilitating compliance, with minimum cost outlays and maximum operational efficiencies, the reason it finds wide adoption by the regulators.

7. Smart tools for cross-border risk management

Regulatory risks associated with cross-border banking have risen sharply in recent years. Automated workflows and the ease of instant cross-border business activities pose an additional regulatory liability for companies and a need for a robust compliance framework.

International standards may oftentimes be more stringent than those governing local, national business activities. In the same way, industry standards and legal requirements vary significantly between countries, making guidelines contradictory or difficult to interpret. In the cross-border business context, you often end up juggling multiple jurisdictions and complying with countless rules.

Managing these risks can be costly and cumbersome. RegTech offers a single interface for monitoring cross-border business activities and implementing compliance frameworks. Ambiguous explanations can be simplified, industry do’s or don’ts digitalised and machine-readable rules integrated into the workflow, for automated transaction-based cross-border monitoring.

Consultations with in-house compliance experts can be done away with, and global initiatives and expansion plans facilitated with rules-based RegTech designs. This empowers financial institutions, private banks and FinTech startups, as they can now serve clients across many different jurisdictions.

2020 and beyond – what now?

If we have a short look at our introduction again, we see that our prediction said penalties emerging would be one of the biggest concerns for businesses in 2020. When reviewing the year, however, it is clear that the biggest challenge people and companies all around the world faced was the pandemic.

And the pandemic has shown us plenty, from uncertainty, turmoil to ever-changing regulations. What stands out most is that innovation and technology are needed to overcome these times of uncertainty. That’s why in the next section we present the biggest RegTech trends of 2021.

6 RegTech Trends for 2021

Regardless of the challenges of the past year, RegTech is as hot as ever. The impacts of the pandemic have only accelerated the need for innovation and technology. The 2021 Deloitte banking regulatory outlook highlights RegTech as one of the topics that will remain top of mind in the time to come.

Therefore, once again, we decided to collect and present you with the major RegTech developments in 2021. The following developments will, in our opinion, constitute the 6 RegTech trends for 2021.

1. RegTech AI: Artifical Intelligence (AI), machine learning and RegTech

Data is today’s currency, and big data in the form of regulatory documents is still an essential part of regulatory practice. Now AI and machine learning have found their way into regulatory technology to help manage and govern these large volumes of data that constitute regulatory information.

Not only does AI and machine learning facilitate data governance, but rather provide a tool to understand the data and turn it into knowledgeable information as reported in this article published by Regulation Asia. AI and machine learning, however, need to be guided to learn a regulatory language. Peter does that at Apiax and explains why AI is important for prospective RegTech.

RegTech AI will provide support for repetitive tasks when digitising compliance rules. It will be especially useful to improve coverage of regulatory contexts and keep compliance up-to-date. A modern RegTech AI needs to be transparent and explain its decisions so that humans will be able to collaborate with it in a meaningful way.

Peter Bouda, Data Engineer

2. Cross-border compliance and RegTech (Asia)

Financial institutions that want to serve a global client-base need to cope with a growing list of ever-changing regulations. They are required to actively manage and ensure what is commonly called a cross-border framework. At Apiax, we conducted a cross-border compliance survey to find out where companies struggle the most.

Currently, 91% of the surveyed companies still source legal information in a traditional way through memos, phone calls or email. Therefore, we see a big potential for RegTech to be used by other companies when it comes to cross-border compliance.

With impressive growth rates over the last decade, APAC has become a key region for the financial industry. Hong Kong and Singapore, along with Switzerland–the world’s top three offshore wealth centres–are set to profit most from this change.

Just like in other financial centres across the globe, enabling growth, innovation and customer-focus despite regulatory complexity has become one of the main challenges for the financial services industry in the APAC region.

Taking a closer look at Asia, Hong Kong and Singapore are now the largest cross-border financial centres in the world after Switzerland, and attracting clients worldwide. The speed at which wealth and asset managers generate new revenue is hampered by manual compliance processes that cannot handle the expectations of the clients. Yet, the compliance team has no effective solution to offer; not unless there is a way to digitise the complex and dynamic rules for full automation.

Yvonne Ngai, Business Development Singapore

3. Data Protection and RegTech

In our digital and ever-connected business environment, dealing with data happens everywhere. In order that those activities happen in compliance with data protection rules and regulations, new technologies and innovations are needed. In 2020, Apiax conducted a Data Protection survey to find out what the usual operating patterns are when dealing with data protection.

70% of APAC companies said that regulatory requirements around transferring data are the biggest challenge in data protection. This is very interesting bearing in mind that the use of RegTech can drastically ease the compliance with these regulatory requirements. Oliver Riedel, regulatory engineer at Apiax, explains how:

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that businesses tend to be less vulnerable in times of crisis if they have started to invest into digital environments. It is clear that data is the key for businesses to grow and hence data protection rules are a key element for business in 2021.

Oliver Riedel, Regulatory Engineer

4. Open source and RegTech

We believe that 2021 will also see the emergence of new open source projects driven by cross-collaboration between financial institutions, technology firms, service providers and regulators or governing bodies. Projects with this idea in mind that already started collaborating are FINOS and the Regulatory Genome Project.

What unites them is the idea to bring together all the actors of the financial services ecosystem to deliver open source information. Such initiatives have lots of benefits such as standardisation, automation, transparency and efficiency which serve collective as well as individual interests of the participating parties.

We have seen how difficult these collaboration efforts can be to pull off, but the success rates are increasing as lessons are learned and expertise evolves. The benefits that can be achieved are why so many are persevering with these projects.

Alan Blanchard, Business Development UK

The Regulatory Genome Project is creating a comprehensive open access repository of machine-readable data representing the world’s financial regulation. Evolving a de facto standard for the representation of regulatory information in a machine-readable form will enable the interoperability and innovation needed to realise the full potential of digital financial services.

Dr. Robert Wardrop, Cambridge Centre of Alternative Finance

5. RegTech 2.0

2021 will see the emergence of a new RegTech environment. First, we predict that the use of RegTech will see an image change of just being a ‘nice-to-have’ to becoming a business accelerator by providing value-added technology. This change will necessarily entail a broad adoption of mature providers. We ourselves were able to secure such an adoption with Credit Suisse, which was announced last year.

Second, RegTech 2.0 means ‘embedded compliance’ to us. 2021 will see the acceleration of mergers of regulatory technology with business processes. In other words: regulatory compliance with RegTech will become part of the fabric of a company and will provide companies a way of comprehensive de-risking. Or even easier: RegTech for risk management. Ralf Huber, Apiax co-founder and regulatory expert, explains why that is important.

We see a rapid shift away from traditional resource-intense compliance frameworks which are based on policies, training and monitoring towards digital-centric compliance frameworks. And there are obvious reasons for this. By integrating digital compliance rules into core processes, an organisation can massively reduce compliance risk by replacing sample-based compliance monitoring with an embedded compliance or compliant by design approach.

Ralf Huber, Apiax Co-Founder and Regulatory Expert

6. Taxonomies, knowledge graphs and RegTech

Taxonomies, ontologies and knowledge graphs are the logic continuation of AI and machine learning mentioned in the first trend. The taxonomy is a way to classify things that allows us to describe “the domain of information through a standardised vocabulary”. This is done by making connections between concepts and capturing alternative ways of describing the same concept. The role of the knowledge graph is to capture the gathered information, reduce its complexity and organise it into knowledgeable data.

How is this important to RegTech? As said before, the knowledge graph is a logic continuation of AI and machine learning. When bringing them together, machine learning in RegTech will have much more capabilities. Not only do knowledge graphs provide high reliability and explainability of information gathered, but with the data of ontologies (the data schema of a graph) machine learning capabilities will increase drastically, which has a direct impact on the possibilities of RegTech solutions. Apiax software engineer Gonçalo explains:

Ontologies will change the way regulatory topics are explored by crossing and integrating the data of different sources and use it to bring smartness. At Apiax, we want to build a regulatory knowledge graph capable of delivering meaningful insights to help experts fill in the gaps and make use of complex legal ideas. We want to challenge the RegTech world and become the real-time subject matter assistant to legal experts.

Gonçalo Silva, Product Owner

RegTech Lists and Rankings

RegTech maps and rankings are the most convenient way to get an overview of thriving RegTech companies around the world. They provide a quick overview of a company’s position based on various factors that not only highlight some of the most promising companies, but also provide a valid first impression of the key areas in which they operate.

RegTech100

Yearly, the RegTech100 list puts 100 innovative RegTech companies into the spotlight. By highlighting RegTech companies that every enterprise should know about, the RegTech100 provides market information that cannot be found in any other report. Apiax was featured this year.

Swisscom RegTech Startup Map

Quarterly, Swisscom publishes a market overview of Swiss RegTech startups in cooperation with e-foresight, categorised according to areas of activity. This is an excellent starting point for learning more about the Swiss RegTech community.

Deloitte RegTech Universe

For 2021, Deloitte compiled a list of RegTech companies with the technologies and solutions they offer. It’s a really useful look at who is orbiting the RegTech space.

SFA RegTech Landscape Map

With their RegTech landscape map, the Singapore FinTech Association provides an overview of regulatory technology service providers, consultants and professional services as well as infrastructure and ecosystem support operating out of Singapore.

Planet Compliance RegTech Top 100

The 2020 edition of the Planet Compliance top 100 ranking has quickly become an invaluable source of information for investors, financial institutions and anyone interested in RegTech. We are proud to play a prominent role in this increasingly business-critical directory.

Hong Kong RegTech Map

If you’re interested in the Hong Kong RegTech landscape, this map will be the go-to. The RegTech Association of Hong Kong compiled an extensive portfolio of RegTech companies. The map was created in relation to an industry-wide research project.

RegTech Association Australia Members Map

This map (scroll down to find it) features members of the RegTech Association Australia. It provides a comprehensive collection of RegTech companies, regulated entities and corporate content providers.

CB Insights RegTech Market Map

In 2017, CB Insights used its data to identify over 100 private companies in RegTech and organised them into 9 categories, including 9 sub-categories within the financial services. Also, although a bit outdated, this map is still a good source to find RegTech companies that operate in different service categories.

RegTech Associations

Why join a RegTech association? Firstly, it is a great way to gain knowledge, inspiration, and support from other like-minded individuals and organisations. Secondly, it is a powerful channel to voice ideas, opinions and important issues. The list below is a collection of associations that are known to shape and accelerate the evolution of RegTech.

Swiss FinTech

Active in our home of Switzerland, Swiss Fintech supports pioneers on the local FinTech scene. With more than 120 startups onboard, their mission is to drive innovation, inspiration and change in Switzerland. Covering a lot of common ground, we find this an excellent hub for Swiss FinTech and RegTech companies alike to benefit from a community of passionate professionals.

Holland FinTech

RegTech companies have a lot to gain from joining the extensive network of Holland FinTech. Sharing many mutual interests such as industry innovation and financial compliance, it is a great hub to access knowledge, as well as source talent and investments. Joined by over 22.000 professionals, Holland FinTech connects people and organisations to profit from innovation and development.

Innovate Finance

As the voice of global FinTech, Innovate Finance represents and advances the global FinTech community in the UK. Members range from seed stage startups and global financial institutions to investors, professional services firms, and global FinTech hubs. By bringing together and connecting the most forward-thinking minds of FinTech and RegTech, Innovate Finance helps create a transparent, sustainable and innovative global financial services sector.

Portugal FinTech House

Being the flagship of Portuguese FinTech associations, Portugal FinTech is a passionate, united community of individuals and organisations with one shared vision: to empower the FinTech ecosystem. Based in Lisbon, the Portugal FinTech community includes startups, institutional partners and organisations.

Singapore FinTech Association

Being the leading FinTech association in one of our operating countries, the Singapore FinTech Association has set itself the target of enabling the education, information and communication of FinTech companies in Singapore. With the development of a connected FinTech ecosystem, they foster innovation among their 850+ members.

London Chamber of Commerce

Maybe an unusual choice for a list of RegTech associations, however, the London Chamber of Commerce is London’s largest independent business network. By becoming a member, companies and individuals have the opportunity to build valuable connections, access a variety of support services and contribute to the influencing activities launched by the London Chamber of Commerce.

FinTech Association of Hong Kong

The independent not-for-profit FinTech Association of Hong Kong is the second Asian association making our list. They advocate for the development of FinTech in Hong Kong, collaborate with companies sharing similar interests and goals and educate the ecosystem by organising workshops and training hosted by industry experts. RegTech is only one of the industries they are invested in, others include WealthTech, InsurTech and Blockchain.

The RegTech Association Australia

Founded in the same year as Apiax (2017), and being the only one from the oceanic region, The RegTech Association Australia completes our list of associations. On their mission to accelerate adoption of RegTech, they want to become the centre for global RegTech excellence. The RegTech Association Australia creates value for its members by connecting the right people at the right time, collaborating across the ecosystem through action-based programs and educating by showcasing the capability of RegTech.

RegTech Reports and Studies

In recent years, there has been an increasing number of reports and studies dealing with the emergence of RegTech and the future of compliance, providing a wealth of information on the opportunities and challenges facing the industry. Therefore, we have carefully selected those that we consider important in order to better understand regulatory technology. We note that these texts are frequently quoted and provide the figures or justifications that show why RegTech is so timely and important.

FinTech, RegTech and the Role of Compliance Report 2021

This year marks the fifth Thomson Reuters intelligence report on FinTech, RegTech and the role of compliance. The report has been downloaded over 13’000 times by firms and compliance practitioners, amongst others. Major findings include the increased reliance on technological solutions as a result of the pandemic, continued investment in specialist skills for the risk and compliance function, greater confidence in firms’ IT infrastructure to be able to support FinTech solutions and differing budget expectations for RegTech solutions.

Cross-Border Compliance Survey Report

Cross-Border Compliance is one of our most important topics in terms of operations. Therefore, it is only right to share the extensive Cross-Border Compliance Survey Report that we published in January of 2021. Downloaded by more than 200 finance professionals at the time of writing, the report provides insight into industry standards, regulatory knowledge, rule interpretation efforts and digitisation efforts. More than 40 financial institutions participated and provided valuable intelligence on how they manage cross-border compliance.

Cost of Compliance 2020: COVID-19 Update

The Thomson Reuters’ Cost of Compliance report is one of the most frequently quoted reports in the RegTech community. Its annual survey on the cost of compliance is now in its eleventh year. Responses come from compliance and risk professionals worldwide, representing companies from all sectors and sizes of the financial services industry, including asset management, insurance, banking and investment. The report highlights the trends and developments from year to year, and this year gives an additional perspective in relation to COVID-19.

Hubbis-Apiax APAC 2020 Data Protection Report

In 2020, we collaborated with Hubbis on a data protection survey and report. The Hubbis-Apiax APAC 2020 Data Protection report includes topics such as the biggest challenges in data protection, the motivation for going digital and data protection requirements in a digital format.

World of RegTech

Visually appealing and easy to understand, this infographic by Raconteur helps to navigate through the world of RegTech. It presents 391 RegTech companies worldwide, organised by categories such as service sub-sectors, how global financial services providers use RegTech solutions, the likelihood of RegTech budgets increasing and the key benefits of RegTech financial services as evaluated by financial services providers, regulators and professional associations.

The Regulatory Genome

In this presentation by the Centre of Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge, machine-executable regulations are introduced. They started the Regulatory Genome Project which sets out to bring together everything necessary to make the world’s regulatory information accessible, inclusive and fit for purpose in the digital economy.

2019 ACC Chief Legal Officers (CLO) Survey

Every year, the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) conducts a global study of the issues and environment in which CLOs operate. The results of the ACC Chief Legal Officers Survey 2019 support the importance of a CLO who is well positioned to influence corporate strategy. In addition, this survey predicts that CLOs will keep an eye on the data in 2019. It shows that data breaches, legislative changes and data privacy are high on their list of concerns. CLOs also report that new regulations, brand and reputation issues and disruptive technologies will have a significant impact on business decisions.

A New Paradigm for Regulatory Change and Compliance

Particularly insightful, this whitepaper from 2018, A New Paradigm for Regulatory Change and Compliance, describes research by the RegTech Council’s (RTC) New Initiatives Working Group (NIWG) on how a combination of industrial collaboration and the application of semantic technologies based on open standards can radically change the way regulations are written, interpreted, implemented and monitored. This work resulted in a proof-of-concept that demonstrates a more efficient and effective approach to managing regulatory change and compliance that is accessible to both regulators and businesses.

Technology Based Innovations for Regulatory Compliance in the Securities Industry

With a focus on the US, this report was published in September 2018 by the financial industry regulatory authority (FINRA). The aim of this report was to provide insights for financial services firms when dealing with regulatory technology. By showing how RegTech tools may facilitate the ability of firms to strengthen their compliance programs, they identify the potential to create safer markets and benefit investors. However, challenges and regulatory implications for firms to consider are not being shied away from.

RegTech 2.0

The Burnmark RegTech 2.0 survey was conducted among 45 RegTech startups and published in 2018. One of the most interesting results is that the time frame for implementation in banks is much longer than most RegTechs expected.

RegTech Articles

There is a lot going on in the RegTech industry. In order to keep up with the latest market developments, we have to keep up with the latest news and trends.

That’s why we’ve carefully selected some of the most insightful RegTech articles and blog posts on the internet to help you broaden your understanding of the subject. For those looking for relevant information, the following are some articles we think are worth reading.

FinTech, RegTech and the role of compliance 2021

We already mentioned Thomson Reuters’ role of compliance study 2021 in the previous chapter ‘RegTech Reports and Studies’. Here, however, you can get insight on the findings in a condensed version presented in an easy-to-read article by the author of the study, Susannah Hammond.

How RegTech went from innovative toy to regulatory saviour in Singapore

In this article, released by Asian business publication The Ken, the Singaporean RegTech situation is analysed. Concentrating on one of our operating areas, the article takes a look on how the Monetary Authority of Singapore tries to motivate financial institutions to switch to RegTech.

Breaking the Hype: RegTech Finally Coming of Age

Published in early 2020, this article by Accenture showcases how RegTech is breaking the hype and is becoming more mature in its business activities. If you want to learn more about how regulators are increasing their involvement in RegTech, this article is for you.

FinTech, RegTech, and SupTech

Finextra published this great blog post about FinTech, RegTech and SupTech in 2018. It takes a look at how FinTech, RegTech and SupTech are transforming the financial industry and how RegTech specifically can help financial institutions to comply with regulations.

RegTech to Account for 40% of Global Compliance Spending by 2023

This article from the FinTech Times, which focuses on a study by Juniper Research, found that spending on RegTech solutions will exceed $115 billion by 2023. According to the study quoted in the article, any heavily regulated sector of the economy that does not make the introduction of RegTech a priority would risk being fined for not keeping pace with regulatory changes.

A Regulation Revolution in Financial Services

This is a very insightful interview with Jo Ann Barefoot by Forbes to understand how technology and the digital revolution will impact financial services regulation and compliance. Jo Ann is considered one of the most committed advocates of RegTech, and in addition to her work as a former banking regulator, she currently devotes her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to the field.

RegTech 101 and 102

CB Insights has created an insightful RegTech 101, in which they show what RegTech is, why it is happening now and why it is important. Their RegTech 102, in which they talk about the evolution of RegTech and the future of compliance, is equally impressive. Both articles offer a lot of new information and are very informative for those who are interested in RegTech.

RegTech to the Rescue

This article explores that regulatory technology is often cited as the answer to the rising cost of compliance, risk and reporting duties at banks. Will it help financial institutions escape IT silos and enhance control over data? The answer is yes, as you could already imagine.

Everything You Need to Know about RegTech – The New FinTech

Here’s another article that repeats the idea that RegTech is the new FinTech. It also defines RegTech, shares its origins, and explores how it’s going to impact and benefit both customers and businesses. This is another very good RegTech overview.

The best 16 RegTech Blogs in 2021

There is now a wealth of outstanding blogs on the subject of regulatory technology. We have set out and collected the 16 best RegTech blogs in 2021.

1. A-Team RegTech Insight Blogs

A-Team Insight is specialized in providing in-depth knowledge and resources across all aspects of regulation, enterprise data management and trading technology in financial markets. Here, they share the latest news and blog articles concerning RegTech.

2. Apiax Blog

Our blog provides valuable insights for all those that are interested in regulatory compliance and the advantage of using regulatory technology for doing business. Every now and then, we also publish startup stories. So if you want to keep up-to-date with what is happening at Apiax, follow our blog.

3. Central Banking RegTech & SupTech

Central Banking is one of the leading industry platforms when it comes to banking. They cover topics ranging from monetary policy to financial stability and governance. Also, they have a page dedicated solely to RegTech and SupTech where they release the latest news on the topic coming from the banking industry.

4. Economic Times RegTech

On their BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) page, the Economic Times curate a RegTech section. With an Indian spin on things, the platform covers all kinds of business developments of the industry and thereby provides aggregating news, opinion pieces and analysis.

5. FinTech Futures RegTech Archives

The publishing platform for the worldwide FinTech community, from the industry veterans to newcomers within the space, and everyone in-between! They provide daily news, in-depth analysis on a worldwide scale and expert commentary across a comprehensive range of areas. Here, you’ll find a RegTech archive collecting all news covering RegTech. Find more on Twitter and LinkedIn.

6. FinTech Times RegTech Archives

The FinTech Times helps explore the world of financial and regulatory technology, chronicling the latest developments in cutting-edge technologies such as payments innovation, RegTech, banking transformation, AI, cryptocurrencies, WealthTech, cyber security, InsurTech, and much more. We really like their beautiful blend of first-hand insight, external expertise and investigative journalism. We recommend staying up-to-date with their RegTech dedicated page.

7. Fintechnews Switzerland RegTech

A local hub providing deep insight and the latest–most timely–Swiss and global financial technology news on the market. They launched in September 2015 and have since delivered FinTech and RegTech-centric content in various forms for anyone who wants to stay in the know. See what they’re up to on Twitter and LinkedIn.

8. IBM RegTech Innovations

This RegTech blog curated by IBM is an excellent knowledge source when it comes to RegTech innovations. They frequently upload thought leadership pieces and webinars covering interesting RegTech topics. If you’re especially interested in the dynamic of AI and RegTech, this blog is for you!

9. Planet Compliance RegTech

Planet Compliance is a news platform for anyone in the financial services industry or has an interest in regulatory matters and compliance. They do not only produce a RegTech blog, but you can also find a RegTech directory of all important companies operating in the RegTech industry.

10. RegTech Analyst Blog

The RegTech Analyst is produced by FinTech Global and has set out to provide the most comprehensive data, the most valuable insights and the most powerful analytical tools in the FinTech industry to enable professionals to make better decisions. Their RegTech blog is updated daily with all kinds of RegTech news.

11. RegTech Association News

Promoting the RegTech industry as an exciting community with value-adding solutions and products is exactly what the RegTech Association does. On their comprehensive news page, they publish important news concerning RegTech. That includes everything from company milestones to event reminders. Have a look here to find out more.

12. RegTech Times

Frequently updated, the RegTech Times provides news, stories of RegTech entrepreneurs and RegTech influencers, RegTech startups and resource pieces. They try to give a first glimpse of emerging trends from the entrepreneurial ecosystem of RegTech and showcase the awesome spark of creation of RegTech companies.

13. RegTech News

Not really a blog, but perfect for people mainly getting their news via social media. This twitter news channel covers RegTech topics of the financial services industry. So, if you need quick RegTech updates on-the-go, this is the perfect place.

14. Risk.net RegTech

Risk.net is a source of in-depth news and analysis on risk management, derivatives and regulation. On their website, they have a page focusing solely on RegTech news, however, it is not updated so frequently. Nonetheless, it still provides an excellent go-to for RegTech news.

15. TechBullion RegTech News

This is a London based financial technology news website with a global focus on the RegTech industry. We really like their close monitoring of the players on the market as well as the many useful insights and case studies they provide. Follow on Twitter to stay in the know.

16. WatersTechnology RegTech News and Analysis

At WatersTechnology they pride themselves on staying abreast of the latest trends, breaking news and making sure readers are informed about what’s coming down the pike. They’ve been doing it for 25 years and their RegTech blog provides RegTech news at least once a month.

Did we manage to pick one of your favourites? Or are there unsung heroes out there waiting to be explored? Do let us know!

The 5 best RegTech Podcasts

Podcasts are on the rise and trending in every industry – also in RegTech. So that you are able to get updates on-the-go, we have set out and collected the 5 best RegTech podcasts plus a little bonus for 2021.

1. FCA Insight Podcast

Produced by the UK Financial Conduct Authority, the FCA Insight Podcast provides insights on regulatory matters. Every now and then, they release podcasts talking about technology and RegTech specifically.

2. FinTech Insider Podcast

The business podcast produced by 11:FS is targeting FinTech innovators, FinTech influencers and all those that are just eager to learn more about the industry. Now, the podcast is not limited to RegTech, but rather shines a light on the whole FinTech landscape. It is updated twice a week and has already accumulated over 500 episodes.

3. RegTech RoundUp

The Canadian RegTech Association has its own podcast! Available on Spotify, Google, Breaker and Pocket Cast, the RegTech RoundUp brings thought leaders and technology professionals together to discuss current regulatory challenges and emerging technology trends and solutions.

4. Risky Women

This podcast gives a voice to the global community of women in risk, regulation and compliance. They talk about challenges we should thematise more and the innovations they are most excited about in governance, risk and compliance.

5. Voice of FinTech

Mapping out the Swiss and global FinTech ecosystem, this podcast interviews FinTech founders and key players. This is not RegTech specific, however, Apiax co-founder Ralf Huber sat down with Voice of FinTech founder Rudolf Falat to discuss our founding story. You can watch it here.

Bonus: Clubhouse

The trendy podcast platform, that was introduced last year and really took off in 2021, provides a lot of talks on tech topics and you can even jump in and add your opinion. However, there is a catch. To join the network you need to be invited by a friend. Still, we think it is a super opportunity to share ideas on RegTech.

The 6 best RegTech Events in 2021

The last section included in this RegTech guide lists the 6 best RegTech events that should be attended this year. Obviously, the pandemic makes it hard to know if an event can be executed or not. Most of the events in the following collection, however, switched to a hybrid or fully virtual format and are therefore not at risk of being canceled.

1. Paris FinTech Forum

The Paris FinTech Forum has been hosted yearly in the French capital. This year’s forum will be held in a hybrid format and distributed throughout the year with a focus on live streams, podcasts and video interview series to accommodate a smooth execution of the events despite the pandemic.

2. Money 20/20 Europe

Amsterdam is this year’s host city for the Money 20/20 event. Starting on the 21st of September, the event will bring together people, companies and ideas who matter in FinTech. Attendees include Accenture, PayPal, Citi, Revolut and many more. The last day of the event will be the 23rd of September.

3. Accelerate RegTech

The Australian RegTech Association organises #ACCELERATERegTech 2021, a fully virtual RegTech ecosystem event. Four sessions will be held in March, each having its own topic including: ‘The Big Picture’, ‘Regulation Innovation’, ‘New Economy’ and ‘Innovation’. Important to know: association members profit from exclusives.

4. US RegTech Forum

Currently, it looks like the US RegTech Forum will be held on the 31st of March in New York. However, it may be postponed due to complications concerning the pandemic. The US RegTech Forum expects an attendance of 350 delegates and will provide an opportunity for connection-making between shapers of the future.

5. Global RegTech Summit

This year’s Global RegTech Summit will be held solely digitally on the 11th to the 13th of May. It is free to attend and will be attended by 1500 delegates. The aim of the virtual event is to connect the global RegTech community and explore the latest innovations in the sector.

6. Finovate Asia Digital

Finovate Asia will also be a digital event this year. On June 22nd and 23rd, attendees will be able to learn more about insights and solutions for the Asian FinTech market in unprecedented times. More than 500 senior decision-makers, from which more than half are from financial institutions, will attend the various meetings.

RegTech Summary

While the definition can be found in most modern dictionaries, we find that the meaning of RegTech encompasses so much more than the cross between “regulation” and “technology”.

Its broad scope and application spans across multiple industries, business functions and operational purposes. Regardless of business objectives, one thing is sure: RegTech is here to stay and brings benefits essential to competing in the digital era.

Just like the technology, we anticipate RegTech to evolve along with innovation, market participants and business needs. That is why we encourage you to revisit this page from time to time for an updated snapshot of the RegTech landscape.

An ending anecdote: Apiax and RegTech

We hope that this RegTech Guide has given you a comprehensive understanding of what RegTech means. However, we haven’t so much talked about ourselves—and the fact that you have come this far means you must be interested.

Apiax embeds compliance knowledge into business teams, processes and tools to enable growth in highly regulated environments. We make it super easy for business teams with our RegTech software to access the regulatory knowledge they need to accelerate growth. All with a secure, reliable and enterprise-ready solution.