Global Technology Partner: Vizor Software

Conor Crowley

In 2001, the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (Apra) launched a data collection system called Direct to Apra (D2A). Over time, the system has become increasingly challenging, both for the industry and Apra to use and maintain.

In 2019, the regulator chose Vizor to replace its data reporting system with a modern, efficient, web-based system that will improve the regulator’s data collection capabilities. “Regulators will be moving to standardised, machine-readable data models and from aggregate to granular requests. It is no longer enough to simply submit data on time, your data must be explainable and high quality,” says Joanne Horgan, chief innovation officer at Vizor.

Under the new platform, all of Apra’s data models and rules will be synchronised, which eliminates the need for complex system upgrades and reduces the cost and impact of future regulatory changes.

Apra Connect, when launched, will collect data alongside D2A with a progressive cutover of financial data and reporting to the new platform. It will also handle a number of interactions that are currently handled through other systems; this will include ad hoc data requests and post-submission data-quality processes.

Apra is just the latest in a long list of regulators to adopt Vizor’s technology, which is now used in 30 different countries. In the last 18 months, the Irish firm has added open-source machine learning capabilities to the supervision process, with powerful tools that allow business users rather than data scientists to fine-tune algorithms to their specific needs.

Vizor has also included a new application programming interface (API) solution platform earlier this year in its latest software release. This facilitates machine-to-machine data exchange between financial institutions, regulators and other regulatory partners.  

“The solution provides collections of API end-points and connectors, which allow financial institutions and external agencies to integrate their back-end systems with the core Vizor Platform,” says Conor Crowley, chief executive of Vizor.

The Irish firm has begun implementing this system at the Bank of Ghana where it has designed an Online Regulatory Analytic Surveillance System (Orass), which will manage the central bank’s prudential data collection and the licensing of financial institutions.

“The system provides a single decision support system for the different database systems that exist within the financial industry,” explains Michael Mensah, director of ICT. “This helps standardise the presentation of information through customised reports and dashboards to aid decision-making.”

The system will gather large volumes of granular data relating to loans, deposits, borrowing and investments. Ghanaian financial institutions will be able to populate Excel templates and upload the data into the system automatically, decreasing the amount of human interaction needed when submitting the data.

Machine-to-machine data submissions, Mensah says, is the Bank of Ghana’s preferred reporting model. “Other options will be discontinued over time through our incremental implementation of Vizor’s API across all regulated institutions,” he says.

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