FCA looks at tech for regulatory reporting

FCA looks at tech for regulatory reporting

The Financial Conduct Authority is looking into using technology to make it easier for firms to meet their regulatory reporting requirements.

It has acknowledged that the collective demand on firms from reporting regulatory data to the FCA is "significant" and wants to find ways of using technology to alleviate this burden as well as improve the quality of data it receives.

Every year the FCA receives more than 500,000 scheduled regulatory reports from firms, as well as additional ad hoc reports.

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In November the FCA and the Bank of England held a two-week TechSprint event to find out how technology can make the current system of regulatory reporting more accurate, efficient and consistent.

Christopher Woolard, the FCA's executive director of strategy and competition, said: "Technology is a powerful shaper of financial regulation, able to make compliance simpler and more efficient.

"Our TechSprints bring people from across the financial services world together to share their collective knowledge to solve common problems.

"We look forward to working with industry participants in the coming months to drive these ideas forward."

At the TechSprint event, participants developed a 'proof of concept', which could make regulatory reporting requirements machine-readable and executable. 

This means firms could map the reporting requirements directly to the data they hold, creating the potential for automated, straight-through processing of regulatory returns.

The Call for Input outlines how this proof of concept was developed and asks for views on how the FCA can improve this process.

The paper also seeks feedback on some of the broader issues surrounding the role technology can play in regulatory reporting.

All regulated firms submit data to the FCA based on their financial activities.

The data is used in the FCA's supervision work and to monitor markets and detect financial crime.

The call for input will close on 20 June.

The FCA will publish a feedback statement summarising the views received and the proposed next steps in the summer.

Guy Kirkwood, chief evangelist at robotics expert UiPath, said: "Robotic process automation is already having a huge impact on the way that financial institutions meet regulatory requirements.

"These organisations have large teams dedicated to complying with a raft of regulations, much of which involves analysing large amount of data from various business lines and systems.

"The growth of robotics is helping to automate manual tasks and provide higher levels of accuracy and enhanced productivity."