Change, change, more change and a hefty helping of uncertainty pretty much sums up the current regulatory landscape. Seal Software explore why winning the game has become more of a battle in an ever changing world.
Nothing sums up the current state of regulatory affairs quite like the acronym, VUCA.
V – Volatility
U – Uncertainty
C – Complexity
A – Ambiguity
The concept was introduced by the U.S. military towards the end of the Cold War and has since been used in reference to any conditions or situations that are, namely, volatile, uncertain, complex or ambiguous.
In a post-Brexit, ever-changing world, keeping up and complying with new regulations can be a constant struggle…
Change, change and more change…
Nothing could be more true about the regulatory landscape. This has become ever more apparent over the last year following the Brexit vote. Brexit is triggering the need to review and change currency and exchange rates, governing law and logistics terms within numerous contracts. Revisions to trade rules could also lead organisations to consider the impact on their business relationships. Proactive organisations are already starting their Brexit preparedness initiatives, and are realising it starts with a clear understanding of how these elements and many others are defined inside contracts.
The battle to understand new regulations
Of course, it’s not just Brexit. Changes in regulations in the financial services industry mean it’s a continuous battle to understand the new regulations, then implement them in the most efficient way possible by the stated deadlines to avoid penalties, fines, or worse.
The one global constant is the ever-growing strain this puts on financial institutions to keep up and comply. They must figure out how to comply with new rules and deal with potential reviews, and audits without adding disproportionate cost and disruption to the organisation.
Many regulations impact the way organisations make commitments or conduct transactions with their partners or customers. New and changing regulations require companies to find relevant contracts, review the affected language and identify excess cost, liabilities, risk and exposure that directly impact financial services organisations.
Only then can business decisions be made to revise or novate the contract, renegotiate commercial terms or terminate to avoid non-compliance. This has to be done for all affected contracts, which could be in the tens of thousands or more for some organisations.
Global regulatory bodies
Global regulatory bodies are enforcing mandates to better control the solvency and recovery actions of banks and lending intuitions in the case of future economic downturns. Several key mandates stem from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed in 2010 to reduce the potential for a recurrence of the recessionary economic conditions experienced in 2008 and 2009. The consistent theme across stress testing, “living wills”, vendor risk, and overall recovery and resolution mandates is that large financial institutions must have a clear understanding of their contractual relationships and obligations as a foundational element of compliance initiatives.
When organisations manage their contracts for regulatory compliance, they also get insights into the data to support critical business decisions and reporting. This may result in contract novation and repapering or restructuring, depending on the mandate, as well as allowing an organisation to meet changing regulatory mandates, in the best way possible. Managing risks & liabilities during changing regulatory & business conditions
The key to coping with change is agility
It’s critical for financial services organisations to remain agile. They need to have the ability to extract the appropriate data within an overwhelming amount of contracts quickly and without significant business disruption to manage risk, reduce liabilities and compete effectively during times of change.
Previously, when mandates changed, organisations would have to perform manual reviews as a part of their compliance initiatives, resulting in months or years of contract analysis and high costs. However, organisations can now reduce the burden of the contractual review aspect of their compliance initiatives. By using automated contract discovery, data extraction, review and analysis, up to 80% of their time can be saved, providing significant savings. This is critical when organisations are facing tight compliance deadlines and have to review and make strategic decisions on hundreds of thousands of contracts.
Using artificial intelligence and powered by an advanced machine learning framework, the automated solution can extract specific terms and provisions needed for regulatory compliance across all contracts. The framework can be taught by users to look for specific provisions and clauses.
What impact will IRFS16 have?
Let’s look at IRFS16, the new regulations for how leases are accounted for in financial statements. For IRFS16 compliance, all lease agreements need to be located and the impact of the change in regulation needs to be determined. Knowing which of your contracts are effectively leases can be challenging, and an automated contract discovery, data extraction, and data analysis solution will locate all contracts and centralise them in a repository.
The system can extract, gather and validate lease terms from the contracts by identifying which have lease provisions or language. This level of reporting helps business users understand the current environment and develop an optimal remediation plan.
This is just one example which demonstrates how financial services organisations can compete effectively in times of change. Complying with new regulations no longer needs to be such an arduous task.
Using an automated contract review and analysis solution can ensure compliance with global regulatory mandates and help manage the overall risk against defined targets. It can dramatically shorten the time and reduce the cost of contract reviews, as well as help model and analyse the business impact before any changes are made. This results in better decisions on the best ways to achieve compliance.
For more information on how Seal can help address regulatory compliance initiatives, please visit our website.
This article was guest-written by Seal Software, a leading provider of contract discovery. Seal Software uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to help companies efficiently uncover what’s in their contracts.