Posts Tagged ‘Compliance’

Speaker Interview: Patrick Hunger

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How far along are wealth and asset managers in the digitization process? What else still needs to happen to get us to the next stage?

The transformation is still in its infancy. Most of the traditional wealth and asset managers continue to preserve and protect existing revenue streams based on non-digital ‘business blueprints.’ In particular, the role of the human interface is stereotyped relative to robo-advisers or algorithms with the argument that humans in essence only relate to humans. This is fundamentally wrong, as humans relate in the wealth and asset management space to value and value only. Hence, what will get us to the next stage is an understanding of value creation by human advisers, and ‘human interaction as a service’ (HIaaS) around trade-offs.

What are the best ways firms can design a customer experience that will appeal to an existing customer base as well as the next generation?

Historically, wealth and asset managers have been rather one-dimensional in their channel approach to clients. Technology has fundamentally changed the way we access information and this seems to be true irrespective of demographics. As such, I do not strongly advocate ‘generational’ or ‘gender’ segmentation. I would rather recommend designing means of collaboration with your customers based on social needs, i.e. create inclusion, team dynamics or peer-to-peer-connectivity. You do not want to create a ‘customer-base legacy’ but rather create an eco-system of interrelated ambassadors.

How is automation changing the role of wealth and asset managers?

As indicated before, automation puts more emphasis on value creation. Technology is after all a commodity and does not idiosyncratically drive success. Wealth and asset managers need to create their ‘value space’ by skillfully combining technology and HIaaS or alternatively by designing services without any kind of personal intermediation. Whatever the approach is, strategy follows customers and unless you create value for your customer, you should not be in the game in the first place.

In an evolving digital landscape, how can firms most effectively utilise client and company data?

The wealth and asset management space is obsessed with data. In a digital world, your starting point is though whether your data is big and holds value. This may sound counterintuitive, but your challenge is not just to target broadly, but also to personalise your services deeply. Moreover, for that to successfully and continuously happen, you need to think outside of dashboards, connect siloed data, and merge data from the past with data from the moment. Your goal is to answer important customer questions on the fly. I doubt that the majority of wealth and asset managers hold these capabilities today, which makes them vulnerable to fintechs and tech companies in general.

How do you choose the technology that will be the best fit for your firm?

That is a very difficult question to answer. However, whatever your path is, do not try to outsmart your competition with technology, as this will not work – it is a commodity. You can only outsmart your competitors with your value proposition. ‘Customer service magic’ is created by connecting the dots

Why will you be speaking at Finance Edge’s Digitizing Wealth & Asset Management Summit, and what do you hope to get out of the event?

It is a great privilege to be speaking at the summit and to connect with all the subject matter experts. I concluded a long time ago that mastering the digital future is only possible through collaboration. As we do not know what we do not know, it is in a digitised world that displays unprecedented developmental velocity, even more relevant to listen actively to what other people have to say.

Speaker Interview: Clare Rowley

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Clare Rowley, Head of Business Operations, GLEIF

The way we work has been revolutionised by technology. As part of this, the automation of many manual processes has led to considerable time and cost saving. However, despite these changes, many continue to use manual methods when it comes to legal entity identification.

The use of Legal Entity Identifiers (LEIs) as a common identifier to combat this issue has a wide range of business use cases that span multiple industries, business activities and functions. Clare Rowley, Head of Business Operations at the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), talks to us about why current entity verification methods are not enough, and how the solution to the problem – LEIs – can not only help firms meet regulatory requirements, but create business value in multiple sectors.

How do LEIs work?

The LEI is a 20-digit alpha-numeric code based on the ISO 17442 standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It enables clear and unique identification of legal entities participating in financial transactions by connecting to key reference information. GLEIF makes available the Global LEI Index, which is the only global online source that provides open, standardized and high quality legal entity reference data. Each LEI contains information about an entity’s ownership structure and thus answers the questions of ‘who is who’ and ‘who owns whom’. As of February 2018, more than 1.1 million LEIs have been issued to legal entities globally.

The LEI data pool – which is publicly available – is essentially a global directory that enhances transparency in the marketplace.

Why are current entity verification processes not fit for purpose?

Current processes have significant manual components and often require the use of multiple databases in which a counterparty may be identified by a different name. Many banks and corporations still use names rather than identifiers, resulting in confusion. As an example, a large bank’s client services division recently found that it had an average of five names—with minor variations in its database—for the same organization. Additionally, commonly used databases, different divisions and IT systems within organizations can all have varying versions of the same entity’s name, making it harder to trace and to link information from multiple sources.

Another example of current inefficiencies is in know-your-customer (KYC) processes, where firms work to verify their clients’ identity by conducting robust due diligence. The lack of consistency and clarity within these processes means that banks spend considerable time and resources on what should be a simple task.

Beyond compliance and regulatory requirements, how can LEIs provide business value for companies?

Our recent white paper released with McKinsey & Company and titled ‘The Legal Entity Identifier: The Value of the Unique Counterparty ID’ identifies two broad areas in which the LEI has business value. Firstly, it reduces transactional and operational friction, both within and among organizations. Secondly, you can easily access important information about the background of a legal entity in a specific transaction. Together these benefits help organisations reduce the amount of time spent on identifying counterparties as well as improving information reliability.

How can LEIs create business value for the banking sector?

To give just one example: In capital markets, the LEI’s primary value is derived from reducing the cost of onboarding clients and middle- and back-office activities related to the processing of stocks, bonds and other securities trades. All such activities could be simplified and streamlined if LEI use was more broadly adopted throughout the lifecycle of the client relationship. The use of LEIs in the onboarding and trading phases of the client relationship would also reduce the time spent on data correction and reconciliation necessitated by inconsistent identification of legal entities.

McKinsey estimates that the use of LEIs in capital markets could reduce annual trade processing and onboarding costs by 10 percent. This would lead to a 3.5 percent reduction in overall trade processing and capital markets onboarding costs, amounting to over US$150 million in annual savings for the global investment banking industry alone.

What message do you have for businesses thinking about getting an LEI in the future?

Introducing the LEI into almost any process with a manual component that requires counterparty identification and verification can result in more reliable information, efficient operations, significant cost savings and a reduction in the time it takes to onboard clients. I would actively encourage organisations to consider the adoption of LEIs in their day to day processes.

Speaker Interview: Johannes Hennekeuser

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Johannes Hennekeuser, Head of Digitrans, IMTF

How close is the financial services industry to achieving standardisation in KYC and identity authentication processes?

  • In the area of ID authentication we see considerable progress towards standardisation. In many countries, the practice of video authentication is already accepted by the regulator and has been implemented by many banks
  • Initiatives towards a Digital Identification of every citizen have started in many countries and will ease the use of digital (self-) services; among first movers we see Aadhaar in India, and the SwissID in Switzerland.
  • Regarding KYC, requirements are getting more complex and laborious, making standardisation difficult due to differences among jurisdictions. The opportunities here are around automation. IMTF is able to automate processes and information searches successfully with the help of AI and semantic and linguistic technologies.
  • How can firms continue to deliver on their KYC and AML obligations within an increasingly demanding regulatory framework?

  • Only an agile setup that constantly and easily adapts to changes can cope with these requirements.
  • IMTF has built a modular and comprehensive platform that can easily be configured and deployed to increase the adaptability to changing regulations (IMTF RegTech Platform).
  • Banks are often using a variety of compliance systems that neither interact nor offer services (APIs). The IMTF RegTech Platform includes an integration layer that brings together vendor-specific APIs and file-based interfaces with rule logic and workflows.
  • What are the best ways firms can implement new technology to reduce KYC compliance costs while retaining customer loyalty?

    Banks are facing challenges here on all fronts, but a few new technologies can help to
    improve the end customer experience:

    Process Automation:

  • By automating manual work for screening and alert processing and replacing siloed solutions with an end2end vision regarding compliance and risk, your teams and systems can be aligned with your regulatory objectives.
  • Data remediation:

  • Create structured, usable data out of your existing low-quality, and unstructured information spread across multiple systems and documents based on an adequate Business Object model.
  • People:

  • Align, educate and equip staff to handle top-priority tasks where human expertise and decision-making is needed. Technologies such as collaboration tools and adaptive case managers help to ultimately improve the accuracy and efficiency of your people.
  • How can firms turn the compliance burden into competitive advantages?

  • While regulators force banks to increase documentation and background research, the additional data collected can also be used to enhance the customer experience and extend product sales.
  • In the IMTF RegTech Platform, we use advanced profiling to both improve fraud detection capabilities and allow a bank to learn more about its customers.
  • With ICOS/2 it’s possible to do segmentation and peer group comparisons, making it easy to target processes, actual customer requirements and identify opportunities for additional product offerings.
  • A fully digitalized onboarding process with self-service features ultimately improves the bank’s image and reputation.
  • How can firms most effectively limit client impact when complying with the KYC refresh process?

  • Banks are required to collect more data and do background checks, so theoretically this would require additional customer questions and documentation. But, by using certain automation technologies, many of these steps can intelligently be done in the background with little customer impact.
  • IMTF offers a Semantic Search feature that is initiated automatically once an enhanced due diligence is required. Seconds later, it delivers targeted content from commercial lists and the web with guaranteed accuracy and compliance, enabled for use anywhere.
  • Case Managers are extremely flexible and support both routine processes and ad-hoc activities. BPM systems don’t have the flexibility to break out of the pre-defined flows and need to run the customer through multiple loops, but our Case Manager allows you to adapt on the fly while also fulfilling regulatory requirements.
  • Why will you be speaking at Finance Edge’s KYC & AML Summit?

    We are excited to participate in lively discussions on what it takes to “reinvent and support” processes from identity authentication to KYC automation and enhanced due diligence. As a RegTech pioneer with 30 years in the market, we will be sharing our best practices for Client Lifecycle Management, KYC/EDD, and AML.

    Speaker Interview: Abe Smith

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    Abe Smith, Founder & CEO, Dealflo

    What is Dealflo’s role in helping financial services companies with the KYC process?

    Dealflo’s cloud-based solution allows financial services companies to fully digitise the transaction of customer agreements that carry risk, such as finance agreements, loans, mortgages, and life and pensions agreements.

    Dealflo’s technology helps financial services companies move from manual or semi-manual onboarding processes to fully automated processes, where a customer’s identity is verified digitally, and agreements are signed electronically. Agreements which are signed electronically require stronger evidence to confirm a person’s identity than would be required if an agreement was signed face-to-face. We give our clients access to various KYC methods to help them balance the need to provide a great customer experience, with the need to mitigate risk.

    How can firms continue to deliver on their KYC and AML obligations within an increasingly demanding regulatory framework?

    Looking at KYC in the context of a completely digital onboarding process, there’s a delta between the minimum you need to be compliant with regulations and what is advisable as best practice. Dealflo help enable our clients to be on the right side of that delta, whilst offering a frictionless experience to their customers. Financial services companies should be looking for KYC processes that assist with compliance and mitigate risk robustly.

    What are the best ways firms can implement new technology to reduce KYC compliance costs while retaining customer loyalty?

    There are a multiplicity of KYC and AML vendors out there, with fantastic technology that can help financial services companies reduce KYC compliance costs and retain customer loyalty. However, the problem many financial services face, is that they do not have the bandwidth or desire to do multiple integrations with multiple providers of KYC services. My advice to financial services companies would be to look for a flexible solution that offers access to multiple KYC methods, so that they can pick and choose KYC methods which are most appropriate for particular processes or products. This will enable them to optimise not just for cost, but risk and customer experience factors too.

    Dealflo has sourced leading technology to address the wide-ranging needs of financial services providers. This enables us to give clients access to the widest array of global identity and verification checks available, all through a single integration, single contract and single API. Dealflo’s clients can pick and choose the best identity checks for them – such as credit reference agency checks, or innovative new KYC methods such as automated document verification, biometrics, facial recognition, IP geolocation or mobile device identity.

    How close is the financial services industry to achieving standardisation in KYC and identity authentication processes?

    The industry is nowhere near a standardisation, nor should it be. Each financial transaction is different and carries a different amount of risk. When you consider factors such as the value of an agreement, the profile of the customer, the method by which the agreement is signed, the extent to which the product/service is regulated, and many more, you soon realise that there is no appropriate ‘one size fits all’ KYC method.

    The goal shouldn’t be a standardisation – it should be to create a flexible and configurable service that can accommodate all these variations and deliver the most appropriate KYC method for each. A ‘platform as a service’ approach allows financial services companies to achieve this.

    Why will you be speaking at Finance Edge’s KYC & AML Summit, and what are you most looking forward to at the event?

    KYC & AML have historically been considered as isolated compliance requirements to ‘get done’, instead of integral steps in a financial transaction. We want attendees to view KYC and AML as steps which produce evidence which is essential to establishing the veracity of an agreement. If identity evidence is integrated into a tamper-proof signed agreement, then that agreement is much stronger if challenged.

    We are attending the KYC & AML Summit to discuss these processes in the broader context of digital onboarding and to help spark new discussion to think about KYC and AML differently. I’m looking forward to discussing and establishing the role of KYC & AML in customer onboarding and seeing where the industry is headed next.

    KYC & AML Summit
    7 March 2018 London

    Abe Smith will be join us during the KYC & AML Summit. This high-level and interactive forum, will bring together senior-level professionals from all corners of the kyc & aml space.
    Contact us to secure your place

    Webinar: Digitising Customer Onboarding

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    27 February 2018
    12:00 pm GMT or after on demand
    60 mins

    Improve the customer experience without compromising on compliance and risk

    Today’s consumers, accustomed to receiving smart and convenient digital services from companies such as Uber, Apple and Amazon, and are beginning to demand personalised, interactive and immediate services from their banks.
    A recent report revealed 42% of UK consumers have adopted FinTech services (EY 2017 FinTech Adoption Survey), so it’s no surprise banks want to adapt to the fast-moving digital marketplace where new and disruptive competitors are already circling. What’s stopping them though, is risk.
    Creating an environment that drives the productivity, speed and compliance essential to sell financial services via digital channels is paramount to survival.
    This webinar will explore how banks can digitise the customer onboarding process without compromising on risk, satisfying customers, regulators and shareholders alike.
    And all this before even looking at the wider business issues. What are the best opportunities for banks and fintechs to collaborate – and to compete? How will customers – who in the UK, at least, seem largely ignorant or sceptical about the promise of open banking – react? Will one or more of tech big five make a decisive move into the sector?


    Unable to attend? Register here to watch it later.
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    How Will Your Digital Channels Meet the Requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations

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    In this whitepaper, you’ll learn how General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are going to impact your business customer experience optimization and what you can do to be ready for this compliance transformation by May 2018.
    Download our latest whitepaper to find out how Glassbox can help you comply with GDPR.

    Click here to download


    Digital Advice Summit
    21 February 2018, London

    Finance Edge is excited to present a high-level and interactive forum, bringing together senior-level professionals from all corners of the financial advice space.
    Engage with the regulators and share your experiences under Chatham House Rule, in our highly acclaimed dynamic day. Please take a look at our agenda and secure your place today!
    Contact us today to secure your place

    Who can see your data? ☠

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    You’ve seen it: high-profile hacks have taken over the news. There’s so much that can be done with data gathered through KYC compliance, but you’re always looking at that dreaded data breach.

    We’ve asked our AML experts for their input on the best ways to prevent any sneak-peaks on client and company information:

    • Decentralise your data – Determine who needs access to what, and enforce it. Don’t give fraudsters an easy grab.
    • Give your clients control of their own information – If they can decide what to do with their information, you won’t be risking open access to any data lakes (or swamps!)
    • Move towards a real-time transaction monitoring model – Catch fraudulent transactions while they happen. Build this into your long-term strategy to stop them before they can disappear.

    None of these will be a one-size-fits-all strategy, but these are all important steps to take in building out your defences.

    If you want to help shape fraud prevention and data privacy strategies, join us at the KYC & AML Summit on 7 March in London. This event will bring top FS executives together to discuss how they are overcoming their biggest AML challenges today.

    Visit the website | See speakers confirmed

    Super Early Bird! Book by 22 December to pay only £599*

    Contact our customer service team on +44 (0)20 3397 7458 or email us on

    Speaker Interview: Andrea Brancatelli

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    Andrea Brancatelli, MoneyGram International, Senior Legal Counsel

    What are the 3 biggest challenges for in-house teams in FS firms today?

    The first challenge is an increase in regulations, which in certain areas seem to overlap and under certain circumstances are difficult to apply, due to conflicts with pre-existing legislation or lack of local (secondary) legislation.
    The second challenge is political instability (just to recall Brexit, the Turkish coup d’etat and now the Cataluña crisis), which impacts business models and legal structures used by corporations.
    Finally, increased difficulty in correctly legally-classifying new legal structures, which arise from the use of new technologies, especially when such legal structures are used in various jurisdictions.

    What key steps can legal teams take, to create a higher value proposition for the business and for customers?

    Work closer with business teams and customers in order to better understand their needs and therefore propose tailored legal solutions which, on one hand, work case by case for the specific situation, and on the other hand, may be used – with minimum changes – also to regulate future different scenarios.
    Translate in practical effective terms – and in advance – the effects of new upcoming legislation and simplify regulatory fulfilments for business and for clients, also through the use of new technologies (e.g. apply e-signatures or simplified binding means where possible).

    What hurdles do legal teams face, in terms of implementing and delivering value from new technology solutions? How can these be overcome?

    A main hurdle is the lack of laws/regulations/practice with respect to new technologies that the market is implementing, but the regulators have not yet legally classified (e.g. blockchain). Such a hurdle may be overcome by adopting known classifications and standard law principles, and in case of doubt carrying out formal inquiries to the authorities, in order to open a discussion and eventually obtain a sandbox.

    How do you view the current level of interaction / collaboration between in-house teams across the FS industry, and how could this develop in the future?

    Market associations are often an occasion to interact / collaborate on common legal topics, however, it could be useful to develop more interaction also with the authorities. This could be achieved by increasing the number of consultations and/or roundtables on new laws or modifications to current laws, especially on legal aspects of fintech where there is still great uncertainty

    Which pain points for in-house teams most lend themselves to automation, and which pain points will be the most difficult for technology to fix?

    Contract drafting (especially for standard agreements), data storage (for corporate secretary) and regulatory fulfilments (for timing of filing with authorities) may surely benefit from automation. It will be more difficult to substitute legal advice or negotiations, where technology may only serve as a support to lawyers driving in person.

    Why will you be speaking at Finance Edge’s Next Generation In-House Summit, and what do you hope to get out of the event?

    I believe that at all topics related to new technologies in the financial and legal sector require maximum attention and maximum support by all stakeholders, since what we are discussing today will be what we will use and work with for the coming years. As e-signature seemed a revolution only few years ago and now is customary in most business, today we are asked to shape the main legal features of new game changers that will have an important role for the future. I look forward to learning about new approaches that may be eventually be used also within the money transfer business.

    Speaker interview: Nikhil Aggarwal

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    Nikhil Aggarwal is Data & Analytics Executive, FinTech Entrepreneur in Residence at iValley Innovation Center

    Given all the hype, where has RegTech fallen short over the past year, and where has it exceeded expectations?

    Increasingly complex regulations coupled with heightened scrutiny from regulators has resulted in more banks and financial institutions building out broad spectrum RegTech programs. This has resulted in financial institutions applying RegTech solutions to use cases including i) enhanced regulatory reporting, ii) robust biometric and digital identity management, and iii) streamlining of KYC, CDD and anti-money laundering efforts. As a result, banks and financial institutions will be better placed to address a range of national and international regulations, including PSD2, AMLD4, DFS 504 and MiFID II.
    Adoption and implementation efforts have not always been consistent due to evolving compliance requirements. In addition, RegTech efforts continue to focus on hygiene factors, such as building out data lakes and reporting routines, but we have yet to apply advanced analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques beyond initial experimentation.

    Which areas of regulatory compliance will we see revolutionized by RegTech in the near-term, and which areas still pose the biggest challenges for RegTech?

    RegTech is radically changing the mitigation of money laundering and other financial crime risks. Banks have leveraged RegTech data management solutions to significantly improve their KYC and KYT processes. As a result, client due diligence efforts during on-boarding and periodic risk reviews are more comprehensive. Banks are now making proactive decisions to deepen existing client relationships and de-risk and exit identified clients. Robotic Process Automation is also being applied to mechanical ETL data processes so investigators can focus on higher value-add sub-processes.
    The core challenge in RegTech (from the solutions providers’ perspective) is to bridge the gap between risk management/business leadership and technologists. Often times, the value proposition and sales cycle focus on a predefined technology product which may not capture a broader set of evolving risk nuances. As a result, a proposed solution may check the technology boxes, but will not address all the underlying regulatory, compliance and operational risks.

    To what extent is RegTech benefitting both financial services firms and consumers (through lower costs, improved products and services, etc.), and what is the scope for this to develop?

    RegTech solutions are increasingly focusing on both the operational and risk identification dimensions. Increased efficiency has resulted in reduced noise in the form of “lower false positives,” and sharpened risk identification and coverage in form of “higher true positives.” This allows financial institutions to optimally allocate their resources for an improved PNL, and to pass savings on to clients with a better customer experience.
    From a development perspective, there is an opportunity to build both governance and
    change management modules and embed these into RegTech solutions. Audit trails, traceability, sign-offs/attestations, and governance are core thematic areas during a regulatory examination.

    How can large firms most effectively respond to, and engage with, the growing band of RegTech providers?

    Collaboration between large firms, RegTech providers and regulators will result in significant mutual benefits. Large firms must share contextual knowledge (i.e., their risk footprint, customer segments, product set) and their interpretation of regulations with RegTech providers. Similarly, providers must explain their solutions and answer the fundamental questions on how core risk issues are being addressed. This dialogue needs to reach a granular level where data elements and the technology stack are reviewed and thoroughly understood. There is a need to enhance flexibility in solution design to allow new regulations to be factored in during rollout of subsequent release cycles.

    What do RegTech providers need to do to improve their offerings in the coming year?

    RegTech providers must ensure that their offerings are holistic, and must specify which risk typologies and taxonomies are being addressed, ensure that data flow and metrics and reporting modules are robust, and utilize more sophisticated analytics approaches to address underlying risk and operational issues. Hiring domain experts to complement their strong technologist benches will also enable RegTech providers to develop meaningful and relevant solutions.
    Incremental innovation and experimental developments in emerging areas such as Blockchain and
    Natural Language Programming will also further develop providers’ minimum viable product and value proposition. Effective scalable solutions must be rolled out at the same time as well.

    Why will you be speaking at Finance Edge’s RegTech Summit US, and what do you hope to get out of the event?

    I look forward to engaging with like-minded industry peers, and discussing how we can collaborateand work together to move the industry forward.
    The Finance Edge Team has designed a comprehensive Summit agenda, and assembled a speaker
    panel comprising leading industry practitioners and RegTech vendors. This will definitely lead to
    meaningful conversations for all participants!

    Speaker interview: Dean Nash

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    Dean Nash, Head of Legal & Compliance, Monzo Bank

    What are the 3 biggest challenges for in-house teams in FS firms today?

    From my perspective it is first the speed of technological change in financial services; this means legal teams needing to know how the technology works, speak the language of their stakeholders (increasingly more likely to be a software developer than a business manager) and operate their way by redefining their engagement to work with agile development teams. This can be a real challenge for legal teams, but when it is done well can be hugely powerful.
    Second is the rate of regulatory change in financial services. The regulators have been very active in all areas, from consumer protection to facilitating innovation and market stability. These create far reaching and complicated pieces of regulation that have massive impacts on virtually every financial services firm. The legal team need to scope, interpret, raise resource for, and oversee implementation of these huge projects – at a time when the legal foundation for many of these pieces of regulation is under question by Brexit.
    Third is demonstrating value. Every other part of the business is automating as many processes as possible, and with so much regulation and legislation available at the touch of a button, the challenge of demonstrating value can be a real challenge. I think lawyers have a critical and unique role to play in business success, but demonstrating that beyond a vague concept of ‘trusted advisor’ is a real challenge.

    What key steps can legal teams take, to create a higher value proposition for the business and for customers?

    The key is to look to colleagues around the rest of the organisation and adopt the best practices being utilised across the organisation. I woke very closely with our risk team to ensure that legal risk is managed in a smart and risk-based way. I view legal risk in quite a simple way as coming down to two things: 1. The risk that we can’t enforce our rights as we would like to, or 2. We have breached a law and will be punished one way or another. Lawyers need to really understand – genuinely – what is your company’s risk appetite for these things? Are there other solutions to these risks aside from legal solutions? What are the processes and controls we need in place to manage these risks? How can you ensure these processes work with the business objectives and not against them?

    What hurdles do legal teams face, in terms of implementing and delivering value from new technology solutions? How can these be overcome?

    To answer this I think you need a really honest appraisal of the technology solutions you currently use and the value you add with that technology. What technology solution improvement would bring the largest value-add to the business for the least disruption? How does the cost / benefit analysis of this stack up against other ‘value-add’ initiatives such as stratifying or functionalising legal services? The simplest and biggest value-add I’ve experienced has come from investment in better communication, collaboration and management tools: basically, better hardware and software.

    How do you view the current level of interaction / collaboration between in-house teams across the FS industry, and how could this develop in the future?

    I think the industry is doing a great job of collaborating across some of the unique issues that we face as ‘fintechs’. Whether that is as a learning environment to understand early stage fundraising mechanics, or to share concerns about regulatory changes that may increase barriers to entry into financial services. The community is setting our sights around some of the pain points that we all feel, and seeing if we can (disruptively) propose collaborative solutions to common problems. First up – the dreaded NDA. We’d love to agree an industry standard and save everyone a lot of frustrating back and forth at the outset of an exciting business collaboration.

    Which pain points for in-house teams most lend themselves to automation, and which pain points will be the most difficult for technology to fix?

    I don’t think lawyers are best placed to answer that question to be honest. We are too likely to see the services we provide through the prism of our own training and biases. Legal teams will always have a critical role to play at a high level strategic level. For example, how upcoming regulation shapes business strategy, or which court to have a particular case heard in, or overall risk appetite given business. And doubtlessly lower, more repeatable tasks will be lost to either standardisation or automation. However, to make this happen, legal teams need to absorb developers and engineers into their teams and ask ‘what code could you write to replace the work I do?’

    Why will you be speaking at Finance Edge’s Next Generation In-House Summit, and what do you hope to get out of the event?

    As a bank that is less than two years old we have the luxury of being able to approach customer problems, business problems and indeed legal problems as an entirely greenfield project. This means digging back to first principles as to why we should design something in a particular way. For example, why should a lawyer review a contract before it is signed? Why should we protect our intellectual property? Why should we have terms and conditions for our products? Getting right back to the why and the first principles of these things has meant the way we approach our designs to these problems and the use of technology in those designs has been a fascinating process for me – and I would like to share this others. I am also keen to learn how other firms are approaching the question of technology in their organisations and see if there is any best practice I can take back to Monzo.

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    “Intimate enough to generate valuable leads, which will hopefully result in some meaningful conversations for Contego.”


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