All you need to know about regulatory technology: causes, definitions, resources, and much more!
What is RegTech? Struggling to understand who it’s for or what it entails?
Here’s our comprehensive overview of the RegTech landscape. We cover a variety of aspects, from basic definitions and background information to industry associations and our favourite readings.
So sit back, buckle up and enjoy your introduction to RegTech, it’s time to share our insights.
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.
The most obvious cause of RegTech are the events around the 2008 financial crisis. In the wake of the crisis, financial reforms emerged to ensure risk management practices in financial institutions. These post-crisis regulatory reforms spawned an unprecedented amount of laws and regulations, leading to an explosion in the scope and complexity of the regulatory environment.
How innovation is used is determined by the incentives of the economic agents, who are in turn influenced by the regulatory framework. As financial institutions were left with an unprecedented compliance burden, their incentive to manage regulatory risks without negatively impacting growth has triggered an urgent need for efficient and effective solutions in the field of regulatory compliance.
Probably the most important root cause of RegTech are digitisation and technological developments. Technological advancement and new standards have brought about new ways of dealing with regulatory challenges. If we look at it from the perspective of RegTech being an enabler of advancement, it can be said that RegTech allows financial institutions and regulators alike to ease their operative activities when it comes to regulatory compliance. If we look at it from the perspective of RegTech being a response to advancement, it is obvious that new digital products and services as well as new digital habits demand compliance to be mastered digitally, too.
The last cause when it comes to the emergence of RegTech is its being a competitive advantage. It is only natural that companies always strive to gain some kind of head start to their competition. With the potential of RegTech being well understood and well established, financial institutions are trying to push into this area with vigour.
Therefore, more and more industry leaders are realising that superior compliance processes are a competitive differentiator. So it is no surprise that investments in regulatory technology are skyrocketing: according to industry analysts, the RegTech market is predicted to grow from a 6.3 billion USD market in 2020 into a 22.2 billion USD market in 2027.
And this comes with no surprise: with increasing cost sensitivity, RegTech helps to boost productivity and efficiency and offers improved traceability and auditability as a welcome side effect. Thereby, it enables companies to achieve growth targets that would otherwise be out of their reach. Such RegTech benefits can be seen in the incorporation of digital data protection regulations or cross-border compliance.
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?
Is it fair to say that RegTech is the new FinTech? Certainly not. Although we see both walking hand in hand, RegTech and FinTech are independent of each other and address different needs. As Andrew Yuille, Head of Risk Business Solutions at Thomson Reuters, says:
“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 organizations, bigger banks or insurance businesses.”
The FinTech revolution has evidently created numerous innovations that have led to a robust demand for RegTech solutions. But the one cannot be mixed up with the other. FinTech innovations themselves, for example, require the integration of digital regulations into their existing solutions to make them work efficiently. EY expands:
“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.”
We do not agree with Wikipedia’s notion of RegTech being a sub-industry of FinTech. Evident is that they bear distinct differences akin to the next comparison.
What is RegTech and SupTech? Other than RegTech, SupTech is one of the more recent neologisms in the tech realm. It is more specific in the sense that it supports only supervisory authorities, such as the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) or the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), in controlling and monitoring their specific industries.RegTech, on the other hand, may provide technology to both banks and regulators alike.
Therefore, SupTech is seen as kind of a subcategory of RegTech:
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 digitized information and data flows.
RegTech solutions can enable compliance by design. If processes are designed in such a 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
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RegTech is used to optimise the regulatory management processes and make compliance knowledge accessible and actionable to everyone.
Adriana Azevedo, Head of Software Engineering
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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 a wave of technological innovation. But I can definitely see a broader application of its capabilities in other industries as well.
Alan Blanchard, Business Development
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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
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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 each 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.
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. This year featuring Apiax.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
In 2017, CB Insights used its data to identify over 100 private companies in RegTech and organized them into 9 categories, including 9 sub-categories within financial services. Also if a bit outdated, the map is still a good source to find RegTech companies that operate in different service categories.
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.
Active in our home of Switzerland, Swiss Fintech supports pioneers on the local FinTech scene. With more than 120 startups joined already, 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.
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 and source talent and investments. Joined by over 22.000 professionals, Holland FinTech connects people and organisations to profit from innovation and development.
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.
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 organizations.
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.
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.
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 one industry they’re invested in, others include WealthTech, InsurTech and Blockchain.
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.
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.
This year marks the seventh Thomson Reuters intelligence report on FinTech, RegTech and the role of compliance. Since its inception over 3000 respondents were part of the yearly report. Major findings include: the impact RegTech applications are having in combating financial crime, the need for a greater interaction between regulators and firms, how firms need to invest in more specialist technological skills, how the lack of investment and poor infrastructure is impacting FinTech implementation.
The RegTech report published by the EBA is an analysis of the current RegTech landscape in the European Union (EU). The report assesses the overall benefits and challenges faced by financial institutions and RegTech providers in the use of RegTech. It also identifies potential risks arising from RegTech solutions that supervisors will need to address and proposes actions designed to enhance knowledge and skills in competent authorities.
Cross-Border Compliance is one of our most important topics in terms of operations, hence we want to continue sharing our findings in what has now become our annual Cross-Border Compliance Survey Report. Downloaded by more than 200 finance professionals, the report provides insight into industry standards, regulatory knowledge, rule interpretation efforts and digitisation efforts. Watch the key highlights of the report in this webinar.
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 13th 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.
Published by the Centre for Alternative Finance of the University of Cambridge, the global benchmark study is based on a survey of 111 firms as well as regulators and industry experts. The report, produced with the support of EY, introduces a data-driven segmentation of RegTech vendors, extrapolated estimates of market activity, and an overview of the actors and core elements of local RegTech ecosystems.
Every year, the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) conducts a global study of the issues and environment in which CLOs operate. The ACC Chief Legal Officers Survey 2022 builds on responses from 947 participants in organizations spanning 21 industries and 44 countries.
This research report, produced by the City of London and RT Associates, provides an in-depth analysis of the UK RegTech industry. Between October and December 2020, the RegTech Associates research team developed a 360-degree view of the market by speaking to regulators, institutions and RegTech vendors about their perceptions and needs.
Visually appealing and easy to understand, this infographic by Raconteur’s helps to navigate through the world of RegTech. It presents 391 RegTech companies worldwide, organized 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.
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.
Digitising cross-border knowledge was the focal point of the Compliance in a Global World study conducted by us. We set out to investigate how a global universal bank with a strong client base in Singapore now tailors their service and product offerings to clients across markets. This report will give information on project requirements and objectives, challenges and solutions, and outcomes and objectives with a Singaporean perspective.
70+ portfolio managers and investment advisors participated in our Portfolio Optimisation Survey 2021. We asked them whether they already optimise their client portfolios for and the impact they see on the overall portfolio performance to find out to what extent tax can contribute to higher investment returns. A webinar was also created on this topic.
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 is why we have carefully selected some of the most insightful RegTech articles and blog posts on the Internet to help you broaden your understanding of the subject.
We already mentioned Thomson Reuters’ role of compliance study 2023 in the previous chapter. On their website, however, you can also get insights on the findings in a condensed version presented in an easy-to-read article by the author of the study, Susannah Hammond.
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 at how the MAS tries to motivate financial institutions to switch to RegTech.
Published in early 2020, 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.
Finextra published this great blog post on 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.
This article from the FinTech Times focuses on a study by Juniper Research, which 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Investopedia gives an insightful overview of RegTech in this educational article. It goes over the history of RegTech, the current understanding of RegTech and characteristics such as applications and companies.
This comprehensive article by Financier Worldwide explains why there is a regulatory revolution on the brink of enforcement. It explains the barriers of implementation, looks at RegTech providers, and expands on strategies when deploying RegTech.
Tobias Adrian, Financial Counsellor and Director Monetary and Capital Markets Department at the IMF, gives insights on the application of AI in RegTech and SupTech, but also shines a light on the risks attached to it.
There is now a wealth of outstanding blogs on the subject of RegTech. We have set out and collected the best ones.
Are there any unsung heroes out there waiting to be explored? Please let us know.
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. They share the latest news and blog articles concerning RegTech.
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, you should follow our blog.
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.
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.
The publishing platform for the worldwide FinTech community, from the industry veterans to newcomers within the space. FinTech Futures provides daily news, in-depth analysis on a worldwide scale and expert commentary across a comprehensive range of areas. Here, you will find a RegTech archive collecting all news covering RegTech.
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.
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.
Planet Compliance is a news platform for anyone in the financial services industry or has an interest in regulatory matters and compliance. They not only curate a RegTech blog, but you can also find a RegTech directory of all important companies operating in the RegTech industry.
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.
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, which includes everything from company milestones to event reminders with a focus on Australia.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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 looks good as well, providing RegTech news at least once a month.
Podcasts are on the rise and trending in every industry – also RegTech. So that you are able to get updates on-the-go, we have set out and collected the best RegTech podcasts.
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.
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. 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 accumulated nearly 600 episodes.
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.
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.
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.
The trendy podcast platform that took off in 2021 provides a lot of talks on tech topics, 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.
EY has launched their compliance and conduct podcast in which they also talk about RegTech. More specifically, it brings a number of spotlight sessions focused on compliance and conduct challenges, drawing on the EY view of the most important issues facing the industry right now.
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.
The Paris FinTech Forum has been hosted yearly in the French capital. This year’s forum will be held in a hybrid format and be distributed throughout the year with a focus on live streams, podcasts and video interview series to accommodate a smooth execution.
Amsterdam is this year’s host city for the Money 20/20 event. Starting on the 7th of June, the event will bring together people, companies and ideas who matter in FinTech. Over 4000 people and 1900+ companies attended in 2021. The last day of this year’s event will be the 9th of June.
The Australian RegTech Association organizes the 5th #ACCELERATERegTech, a fully virtual RegTech ecosystem event. The sessions will be held over three days from 5th of April until 7th of April. Important to know: association members profit from exclusives.
This year’s Finovate Asia will focus on the insights and solutions driving Asian FinTech forward. More than 500 senior decision-makers – from which more than half are from financial institutions – will attend the various meetings. Dates and venues will be announced soon.
The Web Summit 2021 brought together 42,000+ people, and the companies redefining the tech industry. The event held yearly in Lisbon, is considered the best technology conference on the planet. This year it will take place from the 1st of November until the 4th.
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 span 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 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.
We hope that this RegTech Guide has given you a comprehensive understanding of what RegTech means. However, we have not talked so much about ourselves. And figuring the fact that you have come this far you must be interested.
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