Why is Canada well positioned to be a RegTech leader?
For decades the Canadian Government has been investing in the core technologies which underpin RegTech – AI, big-data analytics, data privacy, cybersecurity. This has created a solid foundation of talented actors and mature and innovative technology solutions. Canada’s Financial Institutions also have a long history of taking regulatory compliance seriously – and our regulatory peers in other jurisdictions often seek our expertise. The business environment here in Canada in itself is technology and innovation-friendly, with numerous support mechanisms for helping technology firms to thrive.
What benefit might it bring to Canada?
Canada is perceived internationally as a stable financial system and our regulators are active contributors to international bodies such as the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) in setting global regulatory standards. These strengths create an opportunity, but they also pose challenges if regulated entities and the policymakers and regulators that oversee them are not aligned. The CRTA’s mission to raise the dialogue between the industry, innovators and policymakers will not only help to drive efficiencies here at home but will enable the creation of a valuable export industry in an area where Canada has both the expertise and international standing.
What are your plans for the organization?
Ultimately, we will take the lead from our members, but our intention is to facilitate dialogue, raise standards, and promote growth and innovation in the Canadian RegTech eco-system. Practically, this means exchanging information whether that be in public forums, in smaller focused sessions, or through behind-closed-doors roundtable discussions. There is a real opportunity to connect and educate how emerging technologies can be practically used to solve industry friction points and to enhance our regulatory framework.
What are some of the challenges facing RegTech development?
Its widely accepted that RegTech will help financial institutions to automate the more mundane compliance tasks and reduce operational risks and costs associated with meeting compliance and reporting obligations. Many financial firms are investing at a firm-level and are exploring testing new technologies to investigate ‘network benefits’ through various industry groups (R3, project Jasper, Securekey). Although the potential of these new technologies should not be under-estimated, they cannot stand alone and effect change. The maturity of governance and regulatory and technology standards and the underlying market structure are important contributors. It is very important that regulators and compliance and risk practitioners take an active role in standard setting here in Canada and with their international peers to ensure that as they explore new opportunities, they do not bring further fragmentation and complexity into the financial ecosystem. To achieve this, I believe we need to elevate the level of discussion across key stakeholders both in Canada and internationally.