RegTech as a segment has been witnessing immense interest and activity in the recent past – be it due to the huge fines for non-compliance being imposed by regulators across the world; the reputational damage resulting from these fines, especially for the large, well-known banks; or the realization of the huge potential cost savings and other strategic benefits (RegTech – The Triple Bottom Line Approach). However, a major push that’s been given to this segment has been from the regulators. Unlike other FinTech segments where regulators’ concerns outweigh the obvious advantage, RegTech has clearly demonstrated advantages to the entire supervisory process both at the regulatees’ as well as the regulators’ end. The part of RegTech that is being used at the regulators’ end, and is not receiving the attention it deserves, is the new breakout segment… SupTech.
The push from the regulators to use technology exists in two major ways. The first and the more visible one has been the engagement with the ecosystem through sandboxes, innovation hubs, hackathons, consultations, guidance provided to startups, etc. The sandbox approach has contributed the most by providing the startups a safe environment to test out their products with access to banks’ data in a limited manner while allowing banks to witness the live applicability and effectiveness of these innovative products in real time.
“These interactions with innovative firms add value by deepening the supervisory understanding of the risks and benefits emerging from the new technologies, products, and services.” – Bank For International Settlement, Sound Practices: Implications of FinTech Developments for Banks & Bank Supervisors (Oct. 2017)
The second aspect of the push, which has not received as much publicity but has been even