RegTech: When the Whole is Greater Than the Sum of the Parts

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By FINTECH Books Contributor, Anne Leslie-Bini
Follow: @AnneBini 

When the year 2008 is mentioned, it is generally associated with the demise of Lehman Brothers and the ensuing financial chaos. Yet, for all the economic damage that the financial crisis caused, the year 2008 in fact marked the genesis of a societal phenomenon far more pervasive, divisive and corrosive than may initially have been appreciated.

In short, the crisis in which the world is enmired is not just financial in nature: what we are experiencing is a profound and unprecedented crisis of trust, confidence and legitimacy with regard to the public servants who govern us and the organizations that serve us.

From a macro perspective, the world economy has never known so much wealth, and yet never before has the global prosperity gap been so enormous. So where does Regulatory Technology fit into this picture? RegTech is currently touted as being the next ‘big thing’ to hit the Financial Services industry, serving primarily to reduce the cost and complexity of complying with the myriad regulations been enacted since the financial crisis.

But what if RegTech could do more than ‘just’ reduce the cost and complexity of compliance within the confines of a system that is increasingly acknowledged to no longer serve its societal purpose? Regulation does not exist in a vacuum, and neither does technology: both evolve organically in a geo-political and economic context, and the direction their development takes is conditioned by the policies and decisions that in turn shape the societies in which we live.

What if RegTech could jumpstart new thought processes around broad-based collaboration between industry stakeholders, inciting new regulatory approaches to support financially inclusive policies that foster social mobility?

What if RegTech becomes an integral part of the ‘soft infrastructure’ necessary to support a new model? Imagine the full realm of possibilities when RegTech ceases to be just a bankable buzzword and becomes a movement, embodied by people who yearn for ‘better’ and who are emboldened by this powerful purpose.

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