Industry body for the burgeoning regulation technology sector – the RegTech Association (RTA) – has appointed a new CEO and two board members.
The RTA has moved its former general manager Deborah Young to the chief executive role, the association’s first.
She brings years of financial services advocacy experience to the role, with previous positions at the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL), the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) and the Australian Financial Markets Association, to name a few.
“It is an honour to be confirmed as the RegTech Association’s first CEO. The growth and awareness of the association’s work continues to build, and I am very excited to be able to lead in the implementation of the next phase of the strategy,” Young said.
“We have already begun the roll out of our RegTech AML Boot Camps which underline our values to educate, connect and collaborate,” she added.
Jasper Poos, head of governance and assurance for Commonwealth Bank of Australia, has been appointed a director.
CBA in May revealed initial results of a regtech pilot being run at its London Innovation lab, which uses natural language processing and artificial intelligence to convert regulatory texts into compliance obligations.
The bank said it had a “proceed with caution” approach to regtech.
“As a bank, we can learn a lot by working closely with RegTechs to learn how we can use technology to better respond to regulators,” Poos said.
Harold Lucero, founder and chair of regtech firm, Lucsan was also named as a new director at RTA having served on the association’s advisory committee since its inception.
Lucsan was recently acquired by IRESS, one of Australia’s largest financial services technology providers.
“With Australia number three in the world in the concentration of RegTech firms, there’s no better time and place to be involved in the evolution of industry,” Lucero said.
Since being established in 2017, some 52 organisations have joined the association.
Billions high and rising
The cost of compliance for Australian businesses is high and rising. Deloitte Access Economics estimates that federal, state and local government rules and regulations cost $27 billion a year to administer, and $67 billion a year to comply with.
According to KPMG, the big Australian banks spent between $350 million and $450 million on regulation and compliance each year. More regulation of the finance industry could be recommended by the ongoing Royal Commission into Banking. There's also the significant cost of non-compliance.
In May last year, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission announced it was establishing a regtech liaison group to enable "collaboration opportunities that promote positive applications of regtech". In February the commission issued tenders for pilots that apply natural language processing to 'regulatory problems'.
CSIRO's Data61 group is also exploring the potential of regtech, describing its development of 'Regulation-as-a-platform' or RaaP to Computerworld last year.
‘Proactive government’ and ‘legal informatics’ were named as two areas where Australia can make the biggest gains in digital innovation by Data61 CEO Adrian Turner last week.
“This next digital wave to revolutionise existing industries and create entirely new ones is ours to capture. But the opportunity is perishable if we don’t collectively take action now,” Turner said.