British Computer Scientists Aim to Automate Financial Regulation with Smart Contracts

By Alexander Lielacher Apr 29, 2017 1:32 PM EST

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Professor Philip Treleaven and his renowned financial computer science team at University College London are working on a new project that involves automating financial regulation through the application of blockchain-based smart contract technology.

Treleaven and his team are assembling several technology-related components to create what Treleaven has coined core “regtech,” which enables the automation of financial regulation processes such as filing for FCA approval for a banking license.

The new solution is composed of five parts:

An artificially intelligent regulatory advisor as the front end to the FCA’s regulatory handbook. Fully automated real-time monitoring of digital and social media to identify potential consumer and market abuse. Fully automated reporting using digital compliance communication as well as big data analytics. Regulatory policy modeling using smart contracts to codify regulations and to assess impact before deploying new regulation. Fully automated regulation through applying distributed ledger technology to automate regulatory monitoring and compliance. Automating the FCA Registration Process

One of the first use cases Professor Treleaven and his team are targeting is the FCA registration process for companies that require regulatory approval to conduct financial services-related business in the UK.

The current process to receive FCA authorized status is lengthy, costly and involves a lot of engagement between FCA staff and applicant firms. This is made worse by the fact that the FCA now deals with almost twice as many financial services firms than previously, while still having roughly the same amount of staff as before. That is one of the reasons why automating regulatory approval process would be a create cost-saver and make the entire process more efficient and quicker.

“So we are trying to build a front end to the FCA Handbook that basically will interact with the registrant and try and fill in the forms for them; and

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