Welcome to RegTech: the age of disrupting the status quo is here

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On Tuesday 31st January at a crowded event near Canary Wharf, a select group of RegTech innovators, accelerators and venture capitalists came together to discuss this emerging market. Attendees heard four expert speakers explore the challenges and opportunities. But first, some background.

Financial market participants had to acknowledge some hard truths following the 2007/2008 global crisis. When the dominos fell the impact was much greater than the sum of the parts, and went beyond banks or traders to affect everyone who depends on the market – for pensions, mid-life investment and to fuel entrepreneurialism.

Since then, global regulators have been introducing an accelerated and wide-ranging legislative programme to drive transparency, increase stability and improve participants’ ability to calculate and monitor risk.

However, Financial Institutions find themselves with a legacy infrastructure and application stack that is difficult and expensive to change. The rise of SaaS, these FIs’ budgeting constraints and new technology entrants that are nimble, agile and address a particular pain point has seen the entry of new specialist suppliers into the arena.

Enter RegTech – a fast-moving and evolving space addressing both the ‘soft’ regulatory requirements and the ‘hard’ technology need. Its potential goes beyond trading technology and beyond monitoring bad behavior: to training, culture, transaction checking and capital adequacy.

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Cut back to Tuesday’s event, and it was crystal clear how London has become the hub of this emerging market, with its tradition of entrepreneurialism, culture of enablement from the regulators, and a longstanding history as the centre of European finance.

It was exciting to see attendees pay close attention to each speaker, then split into smaller discussion groups across the evening to discuss the talks and particular areas of focus. Some of the ideas discussed at the MeetUp for the first time are sure to shape RegTech trends in the coming months and years, so watch this space!

The RegTech train has left the station and is building up momentum. The next MeetUp event is scheduled for Tuesday the 7th of March: the agenda is being framed by the participants from the first event – a fantastic indication of how keen the newly-formed community is to participate and get involved.

Click here to register and for details on the next RegTech MeetUp on Tuesday 7th March.