Ascent announced today that it has formalized an ongoing collaboration with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with the purpose of componentizing the FCA Handbook. These efforts will help financial firms, and other firms subject to the FCA Handbook, more easily find and understand the FCA regulations that apply to them, thereby increasing their ability to comply.
In response to concerns from financial firms about the difficulty in parsing through voluminous regulatory text and extracting their specific obligations — a challenge faced by both businesses and regulators — the FCA sought out innovative RegTech solutions and ultimately connected with Ascent in part due to the startup’s traction in the market with global banking entities. Founded in 2015, Ascent uses natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to convert oceans of regulatory text into workable tasks. With its proprietary combination of automation and domain expertise, Ascent is a first-mover in RegulationAI™.
The volume and complexity of regulatory compliance — especially in heavily regulated industries such as financial services — makes it difficult for compliance teams to keep policies current, manage compliance programs and staff, and mitigate risk. These challenges are further exacerbated by the rise of personal liability and the possibility of massive fines, reputation damage, and even jail time. Coordination between the FCA and Ascent marks an important shift in the compliance industry, demonstrating that regulators and startups can work directly together to address these challenges and increase firms’ ability to comply.
“The reality is that 99% of firms out there are ‘good actors’ — they are making every effort to comply, but the complexity of our current regulatory landscape does not support those efforts,” said Brian Clark, Founder and CEO of Ascent. “By coordinating directly with the FCA and making regulation more accessible and easy to understand, we can increase compliance across the industry, freeing up the FCA to direct critical time and effort towards high-risk issues. This kind of collaboration is a win-win for financial firms and regulators.”
Ascent is actively looking to coordinate with regulators around the globe. Interested parties can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
About the FCA
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates the financial services industry in the UK. Its role includes protecting consumers, keeping the industry stable, and promoting healthy competition between financial service providers. The FCA is the conduct regulator for 58,000 financial services firms and financial markets in the UK and the prudential regulator for over 18,000 of those firms. Learn more at www.fca.org.uk.
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