RegTech 2020 podcast: Exploring financial crime RegTech in the USA
Today, financial institutions deal with increasingly complex transactions and regulations that are continually changing. For the financial services industry, the cost of regulatory obligations has dramatically increased in recent years and, as a result, there has been a strong demand for more efficient reporting and compliance systems to better control risks and reduce compliance costs.
The complexity of regulation has made it more difficult for compliance and legal teams to manage risk. Also, the rise in large monetary fines, the impact of reputational damage, personal liability and even prison sentences have all played a factor. However, it remains essential that RegTech and AI is not seen as the only answer to addressing all financial crime risk, but rather a tool that, if used properly, can create more efficiency in the management of money laundering, bribery, corruption and fraud.
This month’s insightful and thought-provoking RegTech 20:20 podcast, from Encompass, delves into these topics from a US perspective, as guests, Dr Henry Balani, Head of Delivery, Customer Success and Support, Encompass, and Pawneet Abramowski, Chief Compliance Officer. Pawneet has more than 17 years of combined experience in both public and private sectors with a focus on compliance and Henry has experience supporting innovative technology solutions that address issues of financial crime and money laundering.
Through the podcast, Encompass aims to demystify RegTech for listeners and understand what practitioners and experts are doing to overcome organizational challenges. This time, Pawneet discusses how the US is at the forefront of the utilisation of technology, while also reflecting on the long history of money laundering and financial crime there, saying that “the birth of RegTech in the last 5-7 years has been really prominent in the United States”.
Henry, having had more than 25 years’ of financial services industry experience, speaks about how so many transactions worldwide are cleared in a US bank and how the US dollar is a powerful weapon, especially when money laundering comes into play.
When asked about her thoughts on technology assistance, Pawneet suggests that organizations are having to continuously evolve their programme and controls, telling the audience:
I think that’s where this desire for having technology assist in making things more efficient and operationally effective
Henry gives listeners an insight into regulatory penalties being a driver in changing behaviour, suggesting that this type of enforcement is a successful method.
As we see the increasing use of these penalties, organizations are noticing the reputational damage as embarrassing. We have seen a lot of these companies coming to RegTech firms asking for solutions to help them identify these potential challenges and issues
Later on in the podcast, he goes on to speak about the challenges for regulated banks in the US. Breaking down the latest data and survey figures, Henry insists that the US has huge workforces in this organization of growth. “To be a compliance professional, you are certainly in huge demand.”
Technology advancement is increasing at a rapid rate in the US. Regulated firms have a challenge not only to stay ahead of criminals, but there is often a rush to introduce new technology and continue to improve the experience of customers. Regulated bodies in the US, especially banks, have long been reinventing and adapting their compliance programmes to meet both their legal and community obligations and, as Pawneet explains:
It feels like a constant regulatory revolving door as a compliance professional
More expert commentary, RegTech conversation and industry insight can be found in the full episode of RegTech 20:20. You can listen below, and across all major podcast players.