AI and Compliance: Can Technology Tackle the Challenge?

AI and Compliance: Can Technology Tackle the Challenge?

In this era of digital transformation, consumers expect more options, greater flexibility, and faster service. The onus is on banks and financial institutions to keep pace with consumer demands and new technologies. Doing so has led to an increase in regulatory demands and additional complexity as it relates to compliance and risk. For many years this environment has resulted in an increase in the number of compliance professionals being hired. But according to Accenture’s 2018 Compliance Risk Study, there was a 9% drop in respondents with more than 500 people in their compliance function. However, 89% of those who participated in the study plan on increasing their investment in compliance over the next two years. Where’s the money going? The study found that over the next three years more resources will be allocated to compliance technology that utilizes artificial intelligence.

Regtech’s Role

Regtech, which is short for regulatory technology, is a new field that utilizes technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and low code to streamline and improve regulatory processes. Its purpose is to help businesses comply with the growing cost and nuances associated with compliance. The objective of companies being assisted by Regtech is to standardize their regulatory processes by making them transparent and consistent. The hope is that Regtech will help financial institutions reign in the cost of regulatory compliance, as well as make regulation easier, faster, more efficient, and more robust. In the future Regtech has the potential to enable real-time monitoring, which would usher in a new paradigm of financial regulation. In addition to the advantages it provides financial institutions, regulatory technology will allow regulators to develop monitoring tools in order to detect problems as they develop and decrease the time it takes to investigate breaches.

Retraining Requirements

In response to the disruption of the regulatory landscape that will occur as a result of advanced solutions, financial institutions will need to retrain their personnel. In the Accenture study, 76% of respondents believe there is a gap between current skill levels and what’s needed to effectively deploy new tools. Although the fear of losing a job to a machine exists among workers, the reality of what will likely happen in the compliance field is not dire. According to Accenture, while three-fourths of banking executives believe artificial intelligence will totally transform the industry, 67% of them also feel the result will be a net gain of jobs. The alarming disconnect is that Accenture found only 3% of employers are planning to significantly increase their investment in training and reskilling programs. Obviously an increased investment in artificial intelligence without a commensurate concern for the role of employees will be catastrophic. Logically companies could take the savings made from automation and funnel it towards making human-machine collaboration more efficient. Workers would welcome this. Of the 14,000 global workers polled by Accenture, 67% believe it is important to learn new skills in order to work with intelligent technologies. The companies that understand the vital role humans can play in this fast-shifting work environment will prosper the most.

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