Technology for Regulatory Compliance: Vizor Software

The first half of 2020 was, for many financial institutions, one of the most challenging periods since the financial crisis that began in 2007–08. The global economy was already reeling from growing tensions between the US and China and negative oil prices when the Covid-19 pandemic hit markets in March.

In response to the pandemic, governments enacted a wave of measures that restricted economic activity, making it more crucial than ever for central banks to have access to timely economic data.

Central banks needed to understand which institutions were at risk, where liquidity was needed, and whether customers needed cash or infrastructure needed bolstering. Thanks to new forms of technology, the data was there – however, accessing it was a problem.

For a number of years, Vizor has been helping central banks make sense of the regulatory data they collect. In 2020, the Irish firm signed its biggest client – a central bank in the Africa region. Unlike its other central bank clients, this regulator has adopted a more expanded solution from Vizor, combining the firm’s analytics, reporting and supervisory technology options into one platform.

“This is a big project,” explains Ryan Flood, chief technology officer at Vizor. Vizor implemented a similar project in Singapore last year, only the migration to the new system was much more gradual; the testing phase is still under way. In this particular jurisdiction, the plan is to migrate all financial firms onto the new system at once.

Continuing its success in Africa, Vizor has also helped the Bank of Ghana improve its reporting and analytical capabilities. The central bank is using Vizor’s Online Regulatory and Analytical Surveillance Software – known as Orass – which will integrate the central bank’s financial surveillance system to manage prudential data collection, as well as the licensing of financial institutions. The platform has enabled the central bank to consolidate data collection across its various departments into 42 returns, with more than 250 forms and 400 validation rules.

“A highlight of the project was the fact they went live with Vizor’s application programming interfaces. Financial institutions were able to report machine to machine,” says Flood. “[This is] the next-gen regulatory reporting.”

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

Vizor also works closely with clients’ following the implementation of systems. In 2020, the firm continued to collaborate with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) following the replacement of their legacy data collection system, and with regulated banks to implement the Vizor RegTech solution.

Using the same technology and rules engine as MAS, 30 Singapore banks can now identify and resolve data issues in-house before the reporting deadline.

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