City of London calls for 'paradigm shift' in tech at banks

© Reuters. Canary Wharf business district in London

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s financial firms and regulators should step up the use of technology to cut the cost of compliance and make the City of London more globally competitive, a report said on Friday.

The report from the corporation that runs London’s “Square (NYSE:) Mile” financial district called for the removal of barriers to engineer a “paradigm shift” in the use of “RegTech”.

RegTech refers to the emerging use of technology to streamline and cut compliance costs at financial firms, such as for reporting data on market transactions to regulators and spotting crime.

Its use is being held back by long procurement cycles, slow decision making inside firms, lack of awareness about RegTech, constraints from existing technology, and lack of funds, the report said.

“We are calling for more to be done to support the sector to grow and thrive, strengthening London’s global competitive offer and benefiting the wider UK economy,” Catherine McGuinness, head of the City of London Corporation, said.

The annual cost of compliance for Britain’s top five banks could be cut by at least 0.05%, or a combined 523 million pounds ($720.48 million), by greater use of RegTech, the report said.

Regulators should be even more pro-active in encouraging the use of RegTech, the report said. “RegTech should become a regular topic of conversation between regulated firms and supervisors.”

($1 = 0.7259 pounds)

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