by George Nott

Regtech gets real as IRESS takes stake in Lucsan

Sep 25, 2017
Business IntelligenceCollaboration SoftwareCompliance

One of Australia’s largest financial services technology providers, IRESS, today announced it was taking a minority stake in regtech firm Lucsan.

The $2 million performance-linked investment will support Australian-owned Lucsan to expand in Australia and into international markets, the companies said in a joint statement.

It is likely Lucsan’s regulation solutions will be incorporated into IRESS products such as IOS, XPLAN and Acurity.

“Financial services is subject to increasing supervision and compliance obligations, including in IRESS’ key areas such as trading, financial advice, superannuation, and lending. To meet these obligations effectively and efficiently, sophisticated and integrated software is required to control and limit events proactively,” said IRESS CEO, Andrew Walsh.

“It’s important to combine large, different and complex data sets that help to monitor activity and meet reporting needs. Lucsan has a strong track record in risk and data analytics within financial services and is well poised to build on its current market position with its existing and additional regtech solutions.”

The move would “accelerate the application of regtech” in the local financial services landscape, he added.

Sydney-based Lucsan’s regulatory and compliance products are currently used by a number of the big banks, financial as well as federal and state government agencies, and five of the ASX’s top 10 enterprises.

The company is currently piloting a risk platform which incorporates climate data with Australia’s largest agriculture lending bank NAB, and Dairy Australia.

“Our strong track record and partnership with IRESS provides us with a solid platform for continued growth and an increased focus on leading edge regtech innovations. This partnership is an important development for the industry. It’s a real-world example of the power of collaborative partnerships and the value that this can deliver to the market,” said Lucsan group executive chairman Harold Lucero.

“As levels of regulation rise and global focus on data and reporting increases, the ability to harness the technology offerings of this partnership will elevate the abilities of enterprises to transform their ongoing regulatory compliance practices.”

Global leader

The regulation technology industry is growing rapidly, as the cost of compliance continues to grow.

Deloitte Access Economicsestimates that federal, state and local government rules and regulations cost$27 billion a year to administer, and $67 billion a year to comply with.According to KPMG, the big Australian banks spent between $350 million and $450 million on regulation and compliance each year.

The partnership announced today was welcomed by the burgeoning industry.

“Having launched the RegTech Association earlier this year to nurture collaborative partnerships in Australia’s regtech ecosystem, it’s very exciting to see these two leading Australian organisations partner in a move that will deliver positive impact and add value to the industry,” said Julian Fenwick, chair of the RegTech Association.

“Australia is uniquely positioned to be a global leader in regtech. Through our open and collaborative culture that creates dialogue between the regulators and regulated entities, we can enable further innovation and collaboration in Australia’s regtech community, to take to market globally,” he added.

In May, theAustralian Securities and Investments Commission announced it was establishing a regtech liaison group to enable “collaboration opportunities that promote positive applications of regtech”. It will run a ‘hackathon’ later this year to “identify roadblocks to the successful and rapid take-up of the sector”.

CSIRO’s Data61 group is also exploring the potential of regtech, describing its development of ‘Regulation-as-a-platform’ or RaaP to Computerworld earlier this year.

In January, IRESS appointed Andrew Todd to the position of chief technology officer. He had previously spent close to eight years as CIO atfinancial services company IOOF.