“This remains a core mechanism in working with the regulator, providing clarity on what minimum standards, licences and controls are expected from the participants.”
“RegTech, as it is known, is already an area where artificial intelligence and machine learning are being used to automate elements of regulation compliance, and we believe it will only become more important as the level of regulation and reporting requirements increase,” notes Mr Bryan.
He says of the FCA’s sandbox: “This is a really exciting area of development and certainly one that we will be watching.”
One step behind?
Typically, though, regulators have faced pressure to keep up with ongoing technological developments in many industries, and to respond to technology-related issues both quickly and appropriately.
Rob Gagliardi, digital product and propositions manager at Bravura Solutions, acknowledges: “Technology should help deliver towards meeting regulatory requirements, through process automation and the removal of human error, thereby reducing the exposure to risk.”
But he adds that typically technology (across all fields and professions) moves faster than governments and regulators are able to adapt.
“However, the FCA has been making excellent progress in this regard with its sandbox initiative and technology ‘sprints’,” he says.
For Stuart Wilson, corporate marketing director at more2life, the FCA has been “cautiously optimistic” when it comes to technology – and with good reason.
He explains: “It can clearly see the benefits of documenting the advice trail from a regulatory point of view, and it likes the idea of consumers being better informed, but it does not want to see technology being implemented for technology’s sake; the benefits for customers and advisers must be clear.”