After hosting a collection of engagements designed to bring the corporate regulator closer to industry, Commissioner Cathie Armour says it has learnt to embrace different possibilities in its efforts to establish “as deep an understanding of the regtech space as possible”.

Speaking at ASIC’s problem-solving demonstration and symposium on Friday, where five regtech providers demonstrated different ways to monitor financial promotions, Armour said ASIC looked to industry for guidance during roundtables, regtech liaison forums, regular meet-ups and face to face meetings.

“Each engagement helped immensely in identifying key themes and emerging opportunities that the sector sees as important,” Armour said. “But the greatest takeaway we received from you was probably that last point: to keep an open mind.”

Armour went on to say that ‘keeping an open mind’ was the driver behind the series of symposiums, which have been funded by special purpose regtech funding the Australian Securities and Investments’ Commission received from the government for FY2019-2020.

“ASIC is determined to listen and learn from the sector,” Armour said.

During the symposium participating providers were asked to provide regtech solutions to help monitor, identify and analyse promotional material relating to banking, credit and insurance.

The providers were charged with delivering programs that identified high-risk words such as ‘lowest’, ‘cheapest’ and ‘free’, as well as inconsistent or unclear information such as small or illegible text or inconsistent disclaimers.

The purpose of the event was to demonstrate how technology can be used in the area and to figure out the best ways to use regtech to monitor and analyse financial promotions, ASIC stated.

Armour said that using new technologies to solve regulatory and compliance requirements effectively was “an issue dear to our heart as a conduct regulator”.

The second event in ASIC’s ‘Regtech Initiatives’ series will shift focus directly onto the financial advice industry. Armour said the ‘Financial Advice Files’ event, to be held 22 August, will look into improving financial advice compliance for better consumer outcomes.

 

Tahn Sharpe is a Sydney-based financial services journalist with a background in financial planning. He writes on advice, superannuation, investment, banking and insurance issues, is a certified SMSF Adviser and holds an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning.
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