The industry body for the burgeoning regulation technology sector \u2013 the RegTech Association (RTA)\u2013 has announced the addition of Microsoft to its membership ranks.\nThe group, established in 2017, also revealed Bank of Queensland chief risk officer, PeterDeans would be joining its board.\nThe association said the announcements were \u201csignificant milestones\u201d in its mission to \u201cposition APAC as a global centre forregtechexcellence\u201d.\n\u201cThe capabilities these appointments allow underlines our readiness to accelerate a new compliance ecosystem for the financial sector \u2013 and subsequently for other regulated industries,\u201d said RTA\u2019sDeborah Young, who was named as the association's first CEO in September.\n \nThe cost of compliance for Australian businesses is high and rising.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.\n \nAccording toKPMG, the big Australian banks spent between $350 million and $450 million on regulation and compliance each year. More regulation of the finance industry could be recommended by the ongoing Royal Commission into Banking. There's also the significant cost of non-compliance.\n \nIn 2017, according to Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence, 56,321 regulatory alerts were issued from more than 900 regulatory bodies worldwide, an average of 216updates a day \u2013 one every nine minutes.\n \n\u201cThe financial sector faces digital disruption, constant innovation, increased regulatory scrutiny and changing business models.As a leader in the AI space, our role at Microsoft is to help regulators and regulated entities to deploy AI as a solution for these issues. The RTA is a vital point of collaboration for the industry and a bridge for those discussions. We\u2019re excitedto be joining their membership at this crucial time for the future of Australian compliance,\u201d said Duncan Taylor, director, financial services, Microsoft.\n \nMicrosoft joins the likes of Equifax, Deloitte, Toyota Financial Services, BOQ and Commonwealth Bank of Australia as corporate members of RTA.\n \nAustralian regulators are also exploring how regtech can improve outcomes. In Maylast year, theAustralian Securities and Investments Commission announced it was establishing a regtech liaison group to enable "collaboration opportunities that promote positive applications of regtech".In Februarythe commission issued tenders for pilots that apply natural language processing to 'regulatory problems'.\n \n\u2018Proactive government\u2019 and \u2018legal informatics\u2019 were named as two areas where Australia can make the biggest gains in digital innovation by Data61 CEO Adrian Turnerearlier this year.\n \n\u201cThis next digital wave to revolutionise existing industries and create entirely new ones is ours to capture. But the opportunity is perishable if we don\u2019t collectively take action now,\u201d Turner said.