RegTech: The Tools of Real-Life Heroes

By G. Kevin Mathis, IAC Student Intern

My favorite superheroes have certain tools that help them in their in their fight for justice. Black Panther wears a catsuit, Spiderman uses spider silk-like polymer that he shoots from his wrist enhancements, and Dr. Stranger has a magical cape and the time stone.   FINRA also has tools that help it keep balance in the world of securities.   FINRA calls its tools RegTech.  RegTech is a subset of FinTech that covers new and emerging technologies assisting FINRA quickly and efficiently meeting its regulatory compliance obligations.   

The superheroes I mentioned are always upgrading their tools to meet new and anticipated challenges, similarly, FINRA is exploring new ways to meet the emerging challenges in the financial securities industry.  Black Panther upgraded his suit to absorb and redistribute kinetic energy. As all great superheroes do, FINRA is upgrading data management access, storage, and reporting, compliance monitoring and fraud prevention software.  Spiderman developed a suit the reacted to his intuitive movements (spidey-sense) to better monitor and protect himself from harm; FINRA is developing more intuitive compliance monitoring and fraud prevention software.  Dr. Strange learned techniques that allowed him to duplicate himself and defend multiple and future threats all at once; FINRA is developing a machine-readable rulebook that AI bots will use to interpret regulations and then identify multiple violators all at once.  FINRA is evolving its tools as it fights the battle to balance the investor’s need for protection and the member firm’s need for more innovative processes.