Janet Chenery is founder of Regulatable, a website dedicated to raising awareness of RegTech and helping small and early-stage financial business to navigate regulation. Based in New Zealand, Janet is a Co-Founder of RegTech NZ – a forum which helps businesses resolve regulatory compliance challenges through technology and collaboration.
Janet’s experience in financial services spans over 30 years and includes software consultancy, technology delivery and investment and retail banking. She worked in London and Singapore before moving to New Zealand in 2013.
Please tell us about your current role.
I currently support businesses in delivery of Regulatory Change programmes. And as the Co-Founder of RegTech NZ, I focus on developing RegTech awareness and accessibility for all regulated New Zealand businesses.
How advanced is the RegTech market in New Zealand?
When I began my Masters in Technology Futures in 2020, with a focus on the benefits of RegTech solutions to help small organisations to navigate regulatory change, RegTech in New Zealand was pretty non-existent. There was a growing focus on Fintech and developing InsureTech and WealthTech but RegTech was either not considered or was deemed an offshoot of the other ‘x’tech’s. Two years later – and having now completed my Masters – this has begun to change. The launch of RegTech NZ in September 2021 gained a lot of interest and support with compliance officers, regulators and advisors interested to know what is going on, what is available, and how we can help them. RegTech NZ has started to raise awareness of RegTech in the region and is developing a collaborative environment by connecting the relevant actors with the ability to support the needed change.
What are the biggest regulatory issues facing financial institutions in the region and how are these being addressed?
Regulatory change in New Zealand, as with everywhere else, is a constant. If new regulations aren’t being introduced, existing ones are being updated and, with several financial institutions being owned by Australian companies, regulatory change also comes from offshore.
If you aren’t aware of the regulatory changes or inadvertently get them wrong, you may face very expensive, lengthy and complex remediation programmes. Legislation must be complied with by companies of all sizes and this creates challenges in Financial Services as New Zealand is a nation of small businesses (less than 20 employees) and whilst there are 15 registered Banks, 90 registered Insurers and a couple of hundred Fund Managers, these are still significantly smaller than their overseas owners and counterparts.
It’s a constant challenge for small Risk & Compliance and Technology teams to keep up with change whilst also managing the day-to-day compliance demands. The need for right-sized automation solutions to enable them to adapt to change simply and rapidly is ever increasing.
What are the biggest priorities for the regulators in the region?
From what I am seeing, there is still a drive for getting the basics right. Regulators are focused on maintaining focused on maintaining sustainable financial markets, coupled with robust monitoring capability to ensure that customers get the right products and services.
Additionally, behavioural aspects are also top of mind, with further focus on Conduct legislation both here and in Australia. Climate change regulation is also at the forefront in respect of the impacts to financial stability and new legislation on Emissions Trading. Another encouraging aspect to watch is the Government’s commitment to investing in a Digital Strategy, promoting NZ technology, and investing in education, innovation, research & development. This can only have good outcomes for the region.
How did you hear about Muinmos?
I came across Remonda, Muinmos’ Founder, through the Women in RegTech forum. I had written an article for Regulatable on legislation as code which Remonda reached out to me to discuss, and we have been connected ever since. Remonda explained how they had been making this work for 8 years with the Muinmos products using machine learning and natural language. I have been following Muinmos’ continued growth and successes ever since.
What are your views on Muinmos’ client onboarding solution?
The Muinmos solution makes life simple and quick. When demonstrated to me, Remonda had the system verification done in a matter of seconds. Muinmos has an established market standing for client onboarding, and coupled with its KYC/AML solution and Risk Assessment module it is one of the few providers that can offer a complete and fully automated onboarding solution. What makes this product more interesting is that it is configurable to your needs and can be built to scale – a very important factor for many of New Zealand’s businesses, regardless of size or industry.