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Maintain regulatory compliance in financial services with Ascent

By Solution Highlight

At Ascent, we believe that focus and context are key to building a clear view of regulatory risk. This blog explains how financial services firms can use Ascent to maintain regulatory compliance and get a clearer view of their risk exposure. 

As the old adage goes, knowledge is power. But how do you create knowledge? You could have all of the information in the world at your fingertips, but without context it’s just data points.  

In financial compliance, “information” translates to thousands and thousands of pages of regulatory texts, which presents a complicated challenge for risk and compliance teams. More information means less focus, which makes it harder to identify regulatory requirements and determine how they impact the higher levels of business.

This is important because scoping a financial firm’s regulatory universe is not an isolated exercise. The process of identifying which regulations apply to a firm and what actions the firm needs to take to comply is ultimately what gives executive leaders a view into their regulatory risk. If the process is broken, then leadership’s view is clouded. And a clouded view can be damaging, as it’s how leadership teams manage liability and reputation effectively.

At Ascent, we believe that focus and context are key to building a clear view of regulatory risk. That’s why we’ve built a solution that helps firms:

  • Pinpoint exactly which regulatory requirements apply to their business
  • Identify how each one applies with granular, up-to-date details
  • Group obligations to make creating and mapping to policies, procedures, and controls easier

We do this by leveraging Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies to scan the regulatory universe and parse out just the information that matches your business profile (e.g., institution type, business lines, where you operate).

READ MORE: RegulationAI™: World-Class Technology Built for Compliance

Here’s how Ascent provides the focus you need to identify your firm’s exact regulatory universe and the context to manage it effectively throughout your organization.

Focus on your regulatory universe 

The process of reading pages and pages of regulatory texts to figure out which regulatory requirements exist is a time-consuming endeavor in and of itself. But even more tedious is the process of determining exactly which ones apply to your business.

Ascent is an always-on solution that constantly scans the regulators (such as FinCEN) and regulations (such as part 201) that matter to your business and surfaces the exact information that you need to know about as changes arise.

To start, we ask that you simply answer a series of questions about your business, including what financial firm you are, where you operate, and what products or services you offer.

Then, based on your responses, Ascent automatically identifies which specific rules (or sections of a regulation) contain an obligation that is relevant to your business. 

At this point, you’ll be able to review your complete obligations register before activating it.

READ MORE: Traceability of obligations in Ascent


Get context for managing regulatory risk

Once you’ve set up your profile and activated your obligations register, you can click into each obligation to see a deeper level of granularity, such as the date that the obligation will be effective.

regulatory requirement supporting information

Any clarifications or exemptions from the obligation that your firm should consider, and a traceable path to see the rule from which the obligation originated.regulatory requirements clarifications and exemptions

Plus, the other related obligations that derived from the initial rule.

related regulatory requirements

You can also assign the obligation to your teammates, set deadlines to review and act on the obligation, and add notes and files that may be pertinent.current regulatory requirements

Lastly, and most importantly, you can easily tag the obligation to a “theme” or topic that best describes how it applies to your business. This feature helps firms group their obligations in a way that makes execution easier. 

regulatory requirements risk taxonomy

While Ascent does have a standard set of themes that includes topics such as Know Your Customer and Truth in Lending, you can also create your own custom set of themes / classifications. Firms tend to use these custom themes to recreate their firm’s unique risk taxonomy within the Ascent platform and then tag each obligation to the taxonomy. 

READ MORE: Compliance mapping to a risk taxonomy in Ascent

In turn, you’re able to spend more time implementing and executing the policies, procedures, and controls that actually help
keep your firm in compliance.

There’s power in Ascent’s regulatory knowledge 

Together, these core capabilities create a dynamic blueprint for establishing and maintaining compliance by constantly surfacing your unique regulatory risk exposure—a driver that matters to leadership.

Interested in learning more? Contact us to request a demo or talk to our Sales team

Compliance Mapping to a Risk Taxonomy in Ascent

By Solution Highlight

Regulatory compliance mapping is essential for financial firms to manage risks effectively. As regulations keep changing, firms need to stay abreast of updates and ensure that they remain compliant. Traditional methods of compliance can be time-consuming, expensive, and complex. However, with Ascent’s technology, organizations can easily identify their regulatory obligations and assign them to risk themes. This makes it simple for businesses to organize and access relevant information. In this blog post, we explore how Ascent’s AI and automation solution simplifies compliance mapping for organizations, enabling them to streamline their compliance efforts while reducing costs

But first, what is a risk taxonomy?

A risk taxonomy is a standard and comprehensive set of risk categories used within an organization to help define the types of risk that should be considered and measured.

Whether your firm uses its own set of classifications or ones set by the industry such as the ISO 3100, Ascent has the flexibility you need to classify and map your applicable regulatory obligations in the language that makes the most sense for your firm.

READ MORE: Regulatory mapping—are you doing it effectively?

As a starting point, Ascent provides a standard set of classifications or
themes, such as Credit Reporting, Investment, Know Your Customer, and Truth in Lending, to name only a few.

Ascent risk taxonomy

Ascent also enables customers to implement their firm’s unique taxonomy with a custom theme feature. 

custom risk taxonomy

No matter which type you choose, the themes that you set up in Ascent are more than just a glorified search feature or a way to organize regulatory content. They are a powerful way to understand what you need to do to stay in compliance, in a structured manner that allows you to make progress against your compliance goals. 

The power to understand exactly what you need to do.

Unlike tools that function primarily as searchable databases of regulatory documents, Ascent is an intelligent compliance platform that automatically surfaces the exact parts of the regulatory texts that apply to your business. Once your unique obligations have been identified, Ascent provides the depth and lineage you need to trace every obligation back to the rule it came from.

READ MORE: Traceability of obligations in Ascent


The ability to map to your controls, policies, and procedures.

The beauty of Ascent’s granularity is that it is made truly actionable through its custom and standard themes. After Ascent identifies your obligations, you can tag them using your chosen themes. The obligation pictured below, for example, fits into the scope of “Anti-Money Laundering.” However, it may also apply to other areas of a firm’s risk profile, and so it might require additional tagging to ensure that it sits properly within the firm’s taxonomy.

compliance mapping

Ultimately, risk themes in Ascent enable firms to:

  • Organize all applicable regulatory obligations into topics and map them to internal risk taxonomies
  • More easily perform impact assessments and map obligations to controls, policies and procedures. 
  • Easily divert obligations to the responsible people by themes in the organization

The flexibility to organize your world.

With Ascent, accuracy and actionability is possible. Learn how you can accurately identify your regulatory obligations and map them to your organization’s unique risk taxonomy for more streamlined compliance. 

Interested in learning more? Contact us to request a demo or talk to our Sales team.

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