Over the past few years, the financial services sector has undergone a complex regulatory evolution. Even past the usual flow of regulation change and shifting reporting standards, there are two key trends driving this change, and which put firms at risk of falling behind if not grappled with effectively.
The first trend is the ever-growing investor, customer and regulatory demand for financial services and products which are ESG-compliance. Throughout the entire lifecycle of a financial product or service, its environmental impact now requires assessing and where possible reducing. Any social benefits, meanwhile, need identifying and enhancing.
Additionally, the FCA’s Consumer Duty obligations will require higher and clearer standards of consumer protection across financial services, placing the consumer at the centre of financial services offerings. This builds on and leverages previous regulation, e.g. Assessment of Value, further obligating firms to focus on being clear and fair to investors.
The transparency requirements associated with both the ESG and consumer protection regulatory changes are both necessary steps in ‘de-mystifying’ the financial services industry to the increasing numbers of new, and existing consumers – and are also key stepping stones to ensuring consumers have adequate information on which to base their financial decisions. In many cases though, they can require systemic change to do right, and for larger firms in particular, involve the gathering and processing of vast quantities of data.
The role of digital transformation companies, such as Fimatix, must increasingly be to support companies – both in the financial services industry and beyond – to navigate the increasingly complex regulatory demands which they face. The focus of our work must be to provide these firms with the tools and services that will allow them to respond flexibly and robustly across their operations to the introduction of new regulations and standards for responsible and transparent business.
As firms increasingly look to expand internationally to diverse their customer base on a global scale, the challenges posed by multi-jurisdictional regulation underline just how vitally important digital transformation has become to firms’ commercial viability, growth and long-term success.