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Eames Insights: How technology is impacting and improving compliance functions in Singapore

  • Publish Date: Posted 10 months ago
  • Author:by Vincent Yao

​The ever-changing world of technology continues to impact and improve many functions of business and day-to-day life. Within the compliance space, technology has continued to elevate the tools used within the market while retaining the human need to work with a range of technology.

I spoke to five top compliance professionals across financial services in Singapore who shared their insights on how they see technological functions improving and impacting the compliance space moving forward.

  • Technology is a big game changer for compliance. We now have a lot more tools (and a whole lot of data) to do our work e.g., monitoring, back-testing and algorithmic surveillance of trades. This gives us more data to do our work, but our stakeholders also want us to consume that data and make sense of it. That sense-making in this world where we are very reliant on technology is the difficult part. We need to continue to keep our human edge and work smarter with all this information, but at the very crux, be able to maintain controls, and provide trusted, reliable advice to our stakeholders. - Benjamin Ma, Managing Director, Graticule Asset Management Asia

  • A strong compliance function needs to be supported by a good technology platform and an arsenal of top-range technology tools e.g. network link abilities, workflow solutions, visualisation and AIML. Processes should be automated as much as possible, as is data analytics to generate insights with speed and at scale. The use of AI/ML was seen as complex a decade ago but is now increasingly becoming a norm. Hence, the use of quantum computing tools and techniques in the not too distant future is not a far-fetched idea if we look at how big tech and significantly large international banks have invested into them. - Managing Director, Group Compliance, Regional Bank

  • Investigation and alert disposition will be made more efficient and holistic. Rule-based models will move to become more risk based with technology and data being more accessible. KYC processes will become more streamlined, moving from periodic to perpetual. Some Compliance functions will also evolve to take on technology aspects, or it can be the other way around – technology evolving to take on compliance aspects. - Regional Financial Crime Director, Anti-Financial Crime certification organisation

  • Technology and automation play an important function for Compliance and can be leveraged to enhance the effectiveness of a Compliance function. For processes which are operational in nature, the use of technology allows for a common platform to store vital trade or regulatory information, coupled with the ability to process large amounts of data, and reduce human error, making this absolutely relevant in today’s ever-changing regulatory landscape. There are solutions available for the tracking of regulatory change, payment and trade surveillance, issues management, risk assessments, etc. Technology offers a standardised solution to ensure that we keep a consistent data set across jurisdictions that can be extracted for management reporting and strategic or critical decision-making. This makes the Compliance function more effective in responding to business needs and the environment. Tech data could also be used to predict emerging risk trends and patterns, allowing the Compliance function to be better prepared. That said, there will always be some elements of the Compliance functions that cannot be fully automated, in particular, Compliance Advisory, which will require a human element or a judgment call. Notwithstanding the above, even for such scenarios, technological data can add value to the decision-making process, allowing for the final Compliance advice to be a measured one. - Regional Compliance Director, International banking and financial services company

  • RegTech is still in early stages, providing the tools to institutionalize knowledge, but still far from providing content to support Compliance in advisory & business consulting work. Currently, Compliance functions still need to design the rules for the tools and input the content. - Senior Legal & Compliance Director, International Fintech organisation

Should you wish to speak further on any of these topics or have a confidential chat about your next career move or business objectives, please don't hesitate to contact me at: vincent.yao@eamesconsulting.com