Business

The UK Government Looks to Regtech

With GDPR Around the Corner, Regulatory Technology Looks Crucial for Compliance

16.04.2018 | by Kezia Parkins
Photo by Gwenael Piaser on Flickr
Photo by Gwenael Piaser on Flickr

On May 25, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force, and with it a new regulatory landscape that companies and financial institutions must prepare for. Chancellor Philip Hammond has cited automating compliance as the UK’s best option.

In March, Hammond announced the Financial Conduct Authority’s plans to start automating regulation in partnership with the Bank of England. The developments mean that RegTech companies operating within the country will be essential to the development of a huge array of markets.

It bodes well for a country that has 26 businesses based within its borders listed by FinTech Global on its RegTech 100 list. One of those companies is Onfido, a company that uses a machine learning artificial intelligence system to compare a user’s identity document to their facial biometrics.

The CEO of Onfido, Husayn Kassai, and his partners have spoken of their desire to expand their ID-verification platform to a global user base. They are confident that, through their tech, they will be able to cut costs, reduce risks, and improve a user’s success with its product. The company has already raised around $60 million in funding.

Another company that will be looking to benefit from the government initiative is Suade Labs, who aims to create the “technology to prevent the next financial crisis.” Founded in 2014, the company offers software solutions to financial institutions to prepare them for each new set of regulations that will be implemented using regulatory data, calculations, and risks. Using this data, the firm produces reports outlining what preparations should be put in place.

The government’s FinTech strategy has also appointed envoys to promote FinTech adoption by traditional banks and building societies, to make certain that the benefits of the technology are felt nationwide. These are encouraging signs for FinTech and RegTech companies, who will now be given the tools to succeed in the UK’s economy post-Brexit.

The GDPR is a law on data protection and privacy for all individuals in the European Union that was adopted on April 27, 2016. It brings citizens within the EU new digital rights, which will allow transparency for individuals and the new-found ability to see what businesses know about them.

Its implementation comes in the wake of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, which showed just how much user data is available, and what kinds of details are being collected on consumers. Lastly, it showed how valuable our data is in this modern age. Consumers are hopeful that GDPR will hold companies accountable for non-compliance and concurrently create a growing market for one of FinTech’s most promising scenes.

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