The role of conduct risk in the RegTech space


Founded in 2022, Cognitive View automates consumer compliance and market conduct risk monitoring and claims to offer the first-of-its-kind integrated compliance and complaints co-pilot, aiming to reduce 70% the workload of compliance and complaint professionals.

According to Dilip Mohapatra, CEO of Cognitive View, the creation of Cognitive View came from a real customer need. The backdrop was formed from the Royal Banking Commission, which was a widespread inquiry set up by the Australian government to look into financial misconduct.

He said, “We were talking to customers and we saw they had fines and challenges around monitoring compliance in their call centres and the front-end when engaging with customers. With this, we looked around the market to see if there were any solutions that can pinpoint and give you real-time compliance. We couldn’t see anything – so we created Cognitive View.”

Mohapatra explained that the firm saw a need to provide a clear real-time understanding of a company’s compliance posture – looking at how many compliance breaches a firm has had on a specific day and what their conduct risk looks like – so that firms can use such data to not just meet regulatory requirements but to drive better customer engagement and improve the existing culture.

“We looked at the market and saw that there is a big gap between some of the big financial firms and how their customers are engaged,” said Mohapatra. “So, we thought there was a huge opportunity to improve the trust deficit that currently exists – and that is the objective of Cognitive View.”

Conduct risk evolution

A key area of development within the RegTech market has been conduct risk, and how firms deal with it. How will such a technology evolve in the market?

Mohapatra took the time to define conduct as how firms do business, how they design a product and distribute a product as well as how they engage with customers. “All these things come back to conduct. Whilst there are several market conduct regulators that detect this – such as FINRA, FCA, CDPB and ASIC – what we’ve seen is companies are still using siloed technologies to manage a lot of the conduct risk, but they’re not really monitoring it because the systems are increasingly complex on structured data points.”

According to the Cognitive View CEO, the firm has seen that companies are starting to realise they can do a better job by automating a lot of the conduct risk. With this, the market is starting to create a framework to better understand some of these systems together and understand the regulatory requirements they need to monitor.

Mohapatra added that he believes in the next three years or so, companies will begin to look into automation much more. “That’s where I think a lot of the technologies we have built would really be handy in automating and providing that real-time risk.” Additionally, he stated that while a lot of the top 30 banks are already initiating conduct risk projects, a majority of the market hasn’t automated yet.

With this in mind, a lot of regulators are starting to expect more real-time significant breach reporting, claims Mohapatra. “What this means is, if you do not have data on the inside, you cannot report on it – and often regulators are looking into your customer complaints to identify systemic risk. So if you’re not monitoring your customer  complaints from a perspective of compliance issues, then it is a big red flag – as the regulator may start an investigation, and there is a huge risk involved here.

Mohapatra detailed, “So what is important here is to look into complaints and compliance. We’re finding with AI automation, companies are slowly realising that they can monitor it, they can automate it, and those trends are slowly picking up.”

RegTech trends

With the RegTech sector continuing to evolve year-by-year, the market is continuing to see changing trends pierce the market. In 2024, what are some of the key trends that are standing out?

An area that has received ad nauseum attention over the past year has been the rise of Generative AI and more specifically, ChatGPT. A view held by Mohapatra is that a lot of companies are trying to understand what is in the technology for them, and how they can understand the value that can be derived from such an offering.

On top of this, Mohapatra sees an increasing interest around AI governance coming into the market, citing the example of the EU, which has already started a number of regulatory initiatives around this topic.

He said, “I believe that that is going to bring a lot of change in terms of the industry for startups in the RegTech space specifically – so how do they build AI technology whilst keeping the AI regulatory governance requirements in mind? How can they provide transparency to what they doing and how can businesses trust vendors as well as trust AI?  RegTech is a very regulated sector so supporting those regulatory requirements is going to be a big trend this year.”

Another key area to keep an eye on, Mohapatra states, is the synergy between humans and AI. “People have long used AI in different forms of models. Let’s say you’re using Gmail, there’s sometimes AI hidden within that,” stated the CEO. “What we’re seeing is that human-AI synergy is an area where there will be a lot of work in terms of the user experience.

There is also an expectation by Mohapatra that regulators are trying to learn about how they can use the technology better in what they do – such as investigating or reviewing a breach of information.

“As regulators are starting to use the same RegTech and SupTech tools for their own good, I would expect them to be demanding more real-time information – or they will have greater insight into what is going on, which means more accountability for a risk and compliance person as they need to know equally or more about the current conduct risks, “he exclaimed.

Roadblocks to breaking through

As the RegTech sector continues to strengthen in market share and exposure year-on-year, more companies than ever are turning to the sector for the solutions they require. How can firms stand out in such an increasing saturated market?

In the view of Mohapatra, RegTech is no longer a black box anymore. This to him is translated through the fact that adoption of the technology Is increasing, in areas such as payments and in the AML and KYC space.

As for roadblocks to breaking through in the space, a lot of this comes down to openness in Mohapatra’s min – at least in the area of conduct and compliance risk.

He said, “Firms should take some small steps in regard to the openness, and try to see what kind of information they are getting out of it and how it is actually impacting their day-to-day decision-making.”

Secondly, a big fear for some in the industry is around using AI in the decision-making process. With a lot more AI governance coming into focus from the governmental regulatory bodies, Mohapatra calls for ‘keeping an open mind’ about it and understanding the role AI can play in a firm’s technology.

A further roadblock outlined by Mohapatra was that around the topic of AI hallucination. He said, “When you are working with a vendor, try to understand the AI risk better as we’ve seen some real challenges around AI hallucination and ChatGPT. If a vendor is using LLMs, it is important to ask the right questions in terms of vendor engagement and what kind of hallucinations or guardrails the vendor has put in. To understand those nuances, in my opinion, would be a better strategy.”

Alongside AI hallucination, the Cognitive View CEO emphasised the importance of human-in-the-loop. “As you embed a lot of AI into driving decisions around compliance risk, does the AI give you the decisions or does the AI help you to make the decisions? It’s very important to start with AI helping you to make decisions so that you can learn more from it – but also provide the feedback about how you make decisions back to the AI engine – and you want the AI engine to learn from your business.”

Future plans

As the company looks to the future, what does it have in store for Cognitive View? According to Mohapatra, the key focus will be around US expansion.

He explained, “There is a lot planning going on for our US market expansion. I’m spending a lot of time in the US as it’s a huge market, and its highly complex. In terms of US regulatory requirements, you often have multiple regulatory body state-specific regulations.

“Looking into that, the more complexity the current system has, this means there is a lot more opportunity to use technology to drive change and help companies reduce their operational risk and cost burden. So, we have a huge plan for the US and we’re already taking a lot of steps around investing in the US market expansion.

A second area where Cognitive View will be focusing on going forward is on its Copilot offering. As explained by Mohapatra, Copilot is a ‘like a friend for a compliance professional’, in that it helps with the day-to-day activities for a compliance worker, by helping them to understand regulatory requirements better and to be able to make the decisions when there is an incident, breach or customer complaint happening and to go about resolving the issue in a proper manner.

“We are investing heavily on the scaling of the Copilot and developing and distributing in an embedded model. What this means is the Copilot can plug and play with companies that already have GRC or contact centre systems or any systems where an existing set of operations need to be augmented by RegTech or compliance technologies,” said Mohapatra.

The third pillar of future focus for Cognitive View is that the firm is investing a lot into adopting its core platform around a range of features, and ensuring regulatory reporting is a strong area for the firm, as in Mohapatra’s words, regulators are expecting better real-time reporting.

Mohapatra explained, “We have a roadmap around this so that the reporting and auditing are some of the capabilities there’s a lot of focus this year, and also in general, creating a better market awareness is something we are just doing by default, so that companies can understand what RegTech means to them and how they can use this technology.”

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