Category A: Best Solutions
Within this category we look at three broad areas in which financial institutions leverage technology solutions to meet regulatory demands and stay compliant: Institutional Resilience and Integrity; Financial Crime; and Payments, Markets and Infrastructure.
Solutions will be assessed on multiple criteria, including the ease and speed of implementation, flexibility, robustness, scalability, transparency, technical support, cost, and return on investment for end clients.
Depending on the number and diversity of submissions received, the categories may be split off into subcategories and evaluated separately based on the specific regulatory requirements being addressed, and the types of firms providing solutions.
A1: Institutional Resilience and Integrity
This category will recognise solutions which automate workflows and aggregate risk data to enable the simplification, automation, and integration of strategic, operational and IT risk management across an organisation. Our judging panel will focus on solutions which provide institutions with effective means of assessing risk and control effectiveness, identifying risk events, managing remediation efforts, and quantifying the associated risk exposure cross-organisation.
This category will recognise solutions which help financial institutions develop enterprise stress-testing programmes which are highly automated, collaborative, auditable and repeatable with high-process transparency, cross-validate data sources within the firm to ensure data integrity, and can be used across regulatory boundaries. In the current economic environment, our judges will pay particular attention to solutions which allow institutions to expand their breadth of scenarios, with superior capital and liquidity forecasting modelling and analytics.
This category will recognise solutions which use robust data management, alternative data sources, predictive analytics, in memory processing and machine learning to build proactive credit risk models and automated delivery of decision systems. Our judging panel will look for solutions which incorporate sophisticated credit risk models that can assist both banks and non-bank lenders to take a measured assessment of risk they are exposed to, but, more importantly, continue to lend amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. The judges are also keen to see how technology can speed up the decision making process.
This category will recognise technology solutions and services enabling financial institutions to remain compliant with risk and regulatory reporting obligations. Our judging panel will look at robustness, adaptability, transparency, and flexibility, as well as the solution’s ability to integrate source data from disparate systems, reconcile and validate the data, and generate reports in fulfilment of regulatory requirements.
This category will recognise regulatory change management platforms, solutions or services that are able to monitor for changing regulatory requirements, assist in making regulatory change decisions, and manage end-to-end workflows to achieve implementation. Our judging panel will emphasise work flow traceability, and the availability of corresponding reporting capabilities for regulatory processes.
This category will recognise solutions which help institutions proactively evaluate and mitigate their technology risk, prepare frameworks to identify, monitor, audit and respond to risk from advances in technology, design business continuity programmes, respond to and address cyberattacks, and comply with the set regulatory requirements. The judging panel will look especially favourably on submissions where track records can be proven.
This category will recognise solutions that use advanced analytics and other technologies to help financial institutions detect and measure cultural drivers of employee behaviour and related conduct risks, and to evidence non-financial risk management capabilities to their boards, regulators, and other interested stakeholders. Our judging panel will focus on solutions that emphasise quantitative and data-driven metrics to help financial institutions measure performance, conduct and culture to identify manage risks more proactively and inform decision-making.
This category will recognise high-impact learning solutions in the compliance and risk management space that are flexible, scalable, engaging and tailored to the needs of learners. The judges will look out for solutions which use innovative ways to engage the learners through rich media, animation, simulations and gamification. Given the extraordinary events of the last six months, submissions which provided training and development solutions tailored to distance working will be given special consideration.
A2: Financial Crime
This category will recognise solutions that reliably ensure compliance with regulations relating to KYC and customer onboarding, including to enable effective due diligence to assess the risks of new customer relationships. Solutions should take into account beneficial ownership, sanctions and PEPs risks, adverse media, among other factors that figure into customer risk assessments. Our judging panel will take into consideration the solution’s ability to enhance regulatory compliance, operational efficiencies, time to revenue and client experience.
In this category we recognise solutions which are able to provide an integrated 360-degree view of client information across multiple business lines, centralising client relationships, products, communications and activities, with a focus on streamlined and compliance driven workflows. Our judges will look for solutions that take into account the need for regular client reviews to ensure compliance with KYC and AML rules.
This category will recognise technology solutions which can help financial institutions to monitor transactions for money laundering and terrorist financing risks, while leveraging modern technologies in automation, AI and machine learning to enhance effectiveness and efficiency. Our judging panel will look for solutions that are able to pool data from disparate sources, apply analytics to risk assessments, and reduce false positives – thereby allowing compliance teams to identify and prioritise higher risk alerts.
In this category we will recognise solutions that provide financial institutions a defence against risks associated with political exposed persons and sanctioned individuals and entities. The judges will look for solutions which reflect updates to global PEPs and sanctions databases in a timely manner, and apply AI and machine learning techniques to perform batch screening of designated individuals and entities against existing customer relationships. Special attention will be paid to solutions that are able to address the high false positives commonly associated with PEPs and sanctions screening.
This category will recognise solutions which are able to continuously monitor user behaviour, identify suspicious activity, and halt potentially fraudulent transactions in real-time and at scale. The judges will look for solutions which evidence the use of rules-based decision engines, while also applying cognitive computing, collective intelligence, and data analytics to identify fraud patterns, thereby allowing financial institutions to increase operational efficiency and minimise fraud losses.
In this category we look for case management systems available to help financial institutions organise, prioritise and manage fraud and money laundering investigations. Solutions should have built-in workflows for various stakeholders, case-tracking metrics, scoring capabilities and report generation, while also providing an audit trail. The judges will focus on case management systems that are able to leverage disparate data sets and apply advanced technologies to help prioritise investigations and generate actionable intelligence in a timely manner.
This category will recognise comprehensive and integrated programmes and solutions that monitor for cyber threats to financial institutions, protect their systems from attack, and provide automated workflows to identify, assess, escalate, and manage breaches when they occur. Our judging panel will also pay attention to solutions that focus on effective response and recovery from cyber incidents.
This category will recognise decisioning solutions designed to help financial institutions make faster assessments of the nature of financial crime risk given a customer’s background, activity and transactions. The judges will look out for solutions which help to automate the risk scoring process while allowing for dynamic and flexible adjustments to thresholds and other variables, amid recent changes in financial crime risks and customer behaviour. The use of AI and machine learning to maximise predictive power will be an important consideration.
This category will recognise solutions that help prevent fraudulent transactions and cybercrime across all payment types and channels, including those made through credit and debit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets and other forms of electronic payments. Our judging panel will pay extra attention to solutions that apply robust authentication processes and automation to prevent financial crime in payments, in real-time, while still allowing legitimate customers to carry out transactions with as little delay and inconvenience as possible.
In this new and evolving area, we will recognise data solutions used by financial institutions to detect business relationships and transactions with links to environmental crime, such as wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, and human trafficking. The judges will pay special attention to solutions which red flag cases for enhanced due diligence and help to unwrap ownership hierarchies and scrutinise business supply chains and third party relationships to identify patterns of environmental crime.
A3: Payments, Markets, and Infrastructure
This category will recognise innovative solutions designed to protect financial institutions and safeguard consumers and investors' interests by detecting suspicious trading activities, preventing market abuse and ensuring regulatory compliance by licensed intermediaries. Our judging panel will pay special attention to solutions providing real-time, cross-channel and cross-asset surveillance and trade monitoring capabilities to detect insider trading, market manipulation, false trading or other types of market misconduct.
This category will recognise solutions and services aimed at helping financial institutions transition to new risk-free rates in preparation for the discontinuation of LIBOR and other IBORs by end-2021. Our judging panel will consider solutions that help financial institutions with their transition plans, including to perform advanced modelling, amend legacy LIBOR contracts, or handle other regulatory, tax and accounting issues related to the transition away from LIBOR based financial instruments.
This category will recognise solutions aimed at helping financial institutions prepare for compliance with initial margin requirements, in consideration of the large number of new firms that are expected to come into scope in September 2021 and 2022. Our judging panel will consider solutions that help to digitise and automate derivatives contracts repapering, customise negotiations of custodial agreements, optimise collateral management, or handle other regulatory, tax and accounting issues related to initial margin compliance.
This awards category recognises data solutions which help financial institutions to obtain accurate information about financial products, including associated terms & conditions data, corporate actions, ownership hierarchies, pricing data and ESG ratings. Our judges will look for solutions with help provide a single view of data across markets and asset classes, enabling financial institutions to automate operations and regulatory reporting, and trade with certainty.
This category will recognise solutions which help financial institutions comply with disclosure obligations across jurisdictions associated with major shareholdings, short selling and position reporting thresholds. Solutions should provide workflow automation for monitoring holdings against thresholds and automated report generation, while allowing flexibility for aggregation and disaggregation of holdings in group structures. Special attention will be paid to solutions that can recognise and adapt to changing rules and reporting thresholds in a timely fashion.
This category will recognise solutions which help financial institutions with pre- and post-trade reporting and data reconciliation across asset classes and jurisdictions. The judges will look for solutions which can easily enrich a firm’s in-house data to meet completeness, accuracy and timeliness standards required by regulators, while offering certainty on trade reporting workflows, including to address post-reporting error clean-up and reconciliation. Flexibility in meeting evolving regulatory requirements will also be an important consideration for the judges.
This category recognises solutions with deep data coverage structured to maximise automation of operations related to corporate actions. Solutions should provide financial institutions proactive controls which can ensure that all relevant updates are captured, formatted and delivered to the relevant stakeholders in a timely manner. Our judges will look for solutions which reduce risk of failure, improve operational efficiency and enhance client services.
This category will recognise innovations in payments (including cross-border) that promote financial inclusion, reduce cost, and increase the efficiency and speed of transactions, given a focus on these areas by international standard setting bodies and national regulators. The judges will focus on the ability of innovative payments solutions to continue to meet regulatory requirements such those relating to AML and KYC. Blockchain and stablecoin initiatives will also be considered.
Category B: Outstanding Project Implementations
This awards category will recognise how specific financial institutions or services providers are applying innovative techniques or technology solutions to address specific regulatory requirements, seeking to recognise project implementations that deliver value in a way that sets them apart from industry peers.
Firms of any type or size can submit projects completed in the Asia Pacific region within the past 12-18 months.
The judges will consider the scope and complexity of projects, cost effectiveness, process efficiency, and the overall results when assessing submissions.
Category C: RegTech Awards
This category will recognise firms that are playing a leading role in developing new and emerging technologies, using them in unique and innovative ways to help financial institutions meet regulatory requirements.
This category will recognise technology firms that have successfully used AI or machine learning to meet regulatory requirements such as those relating to KYC/AML obligations, transaction monitoring, fraud management, credit risk analysis and conduct monitoring, among others, to help financial institutions more effectively mitigate risks and cope with regulatory requirements, while reducing manpower needs and without interfering with ongoing business operations.
This category will recognise technology firms that help financial institutions in leveraging the cost and efficiency benefits of cloud-based technologies in a secure and controlled manner, with specific relevance to regulatory requirements, such as those which require handling of large data sets and analytical capabilities. Any use of cloud technology should ensure the protection of personal and sensitive data, mitigate potential security risks, and allow for proper management of outsourcing issues applicable to financial institutions.
This category will recognise technology firms that apply big data and analytics technologies and techniques to enable financial institutions to gain insights from the large quantities of data they collect that can help to address specific regulatory requirements, such as those relating to transaction monitoring, fraud detection, risk management, and customer behaviour pattern recognition, among others. The judges will look for firms that are able to leverage data to generate real actionable insights that can assist financial institutions with decision-making.
This category will recognise technology firms that apply blockchain or distributed ledger technology to achieve compliance with specific regulatory requirements, such as in automating KYC processes, maintaining customer or transactions records, establishing chains of custody or proof of ownership, or reconciling transactions between counterparties. The judges will also consider blockchain use aimed at enhancing existing financial system infrastructures, including in payments, asset tokenisation, bond distribution, and other use cases.
This category will recognise technology firms that apply innovative, secure and scalable uses of APIs (application programming interfaces) to establish new connectivity aimed at meeting regulatory objectives, such as those related to open banking and digital transformation initiatives. The judges will look for firms that help to facilitate collaboration between incumbent and new entrants in the financial industry, enhance the overall competitiveness in financial services, and improve customer choice, convenience and outcomes.
This category will recognise technology firms that are apply innovative uses of technology to enhance data security and privacy protections of customer data obtained, held or transmitted by financial institutions. Our judges will look for firms that can operationalise best practices in data security and privacy, and reliably prevent access, disclosure and modification of data by unauthorised persons, while maintaining integrity of data.
Category D: Industry Awards
This category will seek to recognise regulators, market infrastructures, exchanges, and service providers that help the financial industry comply with regulatory requirements.
The Regulation Asia Lifetime Achievement Award will celebrate an individual whose drive, ideas and work have had a significant positive impact on the regulatory landscape in the Asia-Pacific region during the past 15 years. Nominees for the award - the first of its kind - will be voted on by our editorial team, a team of judges, and our advisory board members.
This award based on nominations may be given to either a regulatory body or an individual, or both, within the Asia-Pacific region. Nominations are invited to identify regulators who have served to drive innovation in financial services through policy work, industry engagement, and cross-border collaboration, with an emphasis on reducing protectionism and other barriers to innovation. Nominees for the award will be voted on by our editorial team, a team of judges, and our advisory board members.
This category will recognise FMIs (financial market infrastructures) responsible for providing clearing, settlement and recording of monetary and other financial transactions, including payment systems, CSDs (central securities depositories), SSSs (securities settlement systems), CCPs (central counterparties, and trade repositories. The judges will look for FMIs that have demonstrated leadership in initiatives aimed at modernising industry practices, in the interest of enhancing overall market efficiency and transparency while reducing cost and financial system risks.
This category will recognise exchanges with a strong leadership position in their jurisdiction, particularly those with a sustainable competitive advantage and a demonstrable commitment to promoting both innovation and sustainability, with particular attention paid to ESG issues. Cost efficiency in market operations, fair market access and transparency will also be key considerations for this category. Exchanges in developed and emerging markets may be considered separately.
This category will recognise data providers whose services help to ensure financial institutions are able to remain compliant with regulatory requirements. Services may include the provision of access to data relating to reference data, market data, product data, credit data, watchlists, or other risk intelligence databases. The judges will pay close attention to comprehensiveness of data, ease of access, and cost consideration to financial institutions, against comparable alternatives.
This category will recognise law firms that have assisted and directed financial institutions in their handling of specific regulatory and enforcement issues. Our judges will look for law firms that have demonstrated performance above and beyond the call of duty in dealing with complex or multi-jurisdictional regulatory issues with specific, measurable and successful outcomes. Client testimonials and case studies will be considered, as well as published articles, white papers and media citations. Efforts by law firms to communicate with regulators and lobby on behalf of financial institutions will also be an important consideration.
This category will recognise consulting firms that have assisted and directed financial institutions in their handling of specific regulatory issues. Our judges will look for firms that have demonstrated performance that goes above and beyond the call of duty in dealing with complex or multi-jurisdictional regulatory issues with specific, measurable and successful outcomes. Client testimonials and case studies will be considered, as well as published articles, white papers and media citations. Market-dominant and boutique consulting firms may be considered separately.
This category will recognise firms that specialise in the provision of compliance training programmes, aimed at raising awareness and understanding of regulatory and compliance requirements. Firms should be able to demonstrate uptake of services provided by industry, and an ability to effectively upskill staff in an increasingly complex and culture-driven regulatory environment.
This category will recognise firms which help financial institution clients understand and comply with their legal and regulatory obligations, such as in areas relating to licensing, business structure, governance, risk management or other functions which require specialist expertise to commence or maintain operations in the financial sector. The judges will look for firms that are able to address outsourcing issues applicable to financial institutions, and demonstrate outcomes-based success of services provided.
This category recognises industry associations within the risk, regulatory and compliance space dedicated to developing best practice and industry standards, educating and informing industry professionals through engagement and certification programmes, connecting the community through events and regular dialogue, and promoting harmonisation of regulatory requirements across jurisdictions. Our judges will look for clear evidence of how the association has made positive progress to reduce regulatory fragmentation and discourage protectionism in financial markets.
Category E: Ones to Watch
This category will recognise new and emerging start-ups and solutions that are pioneering innovative applications of technology to meet regulatory requirements, but are either in an early stage of industry adoption or have a relatively new product or solution.
Companies awarded in this category will be decided by our judges and editorial team based on the submissions received in the other awards categories. Additional submissions are not required to participate in this category.