Interview with Alan Blanchard, Business Development UK at Apiax

Interview with Alan Blanchard, Business Development UK at Apiax

We know how crucial it is for businesses to comply with different regulations worldwide. But it seems to be even harder to do that while your workforce is working remotely. Why so?

Financial institutions have always struggled with being compliant with regulations because the whole process has always been cumbersome. If you are an internal-focused employee or are a client-facing employee, you have to spend a lot of time trying to find the information about a specific scenario. Now imagine you have to do so when you are not in the office with limited resources. It's almost impossible. Besides that, this is such a time-consuming activity that exposes one to more risk when it comes to making decisions.

How to overcome these challenges then?

It is clear that it is not about improving the process, it is about changing it. Regulations should be easily accessible so that every stakeholder can understand them and make wiser, faster and more reliable decisions. That is why a digital transformation must happen so that the financial industry can leverage its full potential. We already have online-only banks, digital wealth management platforms, and so on, what is lacking is the digital form of the legal aspect to make the industry even more disruptive.

How is Apiax driving this change? And how can it help the industry?

Apiax does exactly what I mentioned. We are driving a digital transformation by making compliance regulations accessible in the financial industry. Simply put, we digitize rules - coming from any type of information source the client provides - and make them available in our products for business stakeholders to get quick and reliable answers for the most pressing regulatory questions. We believe compliance should not be difficult and, through our solutions, we bridge the gap between compliance and business stakeholders that has been missing all along. Apiax delivers seamless solutions that at the end of the day transforms the complicated financial regulations world to an easy one. Time can be spent more efficiently since what differentiates us is that we provide fast yes-or-no answers. If you are from a legal or business background, you see the clear benefits of having this process automated. Legal can address other departments' questions in minutes, and managers can focus on the main part of the job.

How is technology perceived by financial institutions for this matter?

Are they ready for this type of digital transformation? They definitely are. In fact, we conducted some surveys that show that companies want a better option than what they have today.

We can affirm that the transformation is already happening since 40.5% of companies already have or are looking for a digital solution either in-house or externally. Moreover, the lack of technological infrastructure is not an issue, because less than 35% of companies consider it one of the key challenges to ensure business continuity. Apiax delivers ready-to-go solutions which are faster and helps leverage the business without changes in their business models. It is a win-win solution, both for the person who needs the information and for the company. Whichever firm does not include digital regulatory compliance check into their priorities might be left behind in this fast-changing industry.

What long term changes can companies expect from implementing such transformations?

By implementing Apiax' solutions, businesses can focus on what matters most, which is to grow and reduce the time spent on compliance checks. In fact, with Apiax there is a 90% optimization of working hours and a 30% saving in costs due to the integration of digital rules. We are literally closing the gap between legal and business units, linking them without any noise or friction to ensure a smooth and compliant process. Also, thinking back to what we talked about digital transformation and how this industry is rapidly changing, implementing digital regulatory compliance solutions is one step further to empowering digitalization in every process and product of the financial world.

What is the future for legal compliance?

Regulatory compliance is a complex subject, and that does mean that decisions that rely on it must be too. Legal expertise is essential for any business, however, the role of the legal professional will change. With digital solutions like Apiax', the job becomes more tech-driven: we need the knowledge but we also need the ability to digitize regulations. At Apiax, we call them "regulatory engineers", and their focus is to translate and interpret the books to digital content that are the backbone of our solutions. This combination provides better and faster answers for the business units, and as for the companies, a better risk control. At the end of the day, the future for legal compliance is an agile business making process enabled through technology, regardless of the complexity of the law.

How has the pandemic changed your business model? How do you perceive it to have impacted your customers?

We believe that our solutions were valuable before the pandemic because they provide an immense transformation for financial institutions. This unfortunate pandemic reassures that, regardless of working from an office or from home, what firms have to do to stay compliant across countries and different regulations is not meeting today's deadlines and is in need of digitalisation. That is exactly what Apiax enables companies to do.

What benefits have you seen of the accelerated period of digital transformation we have found ourselves in?

We have definitely seen how technology can improve endless industries on their workflows, relationships and so forth. This period also proves what we, at Apiax, already knew: the world is digital. In our case, we master regulations digitally. In other industries, they are also finding new ways to close a gap between an archaic model and a new digital format. Leveraging technology to improve productivity and the way businesses are done is the future. And Apiax is very proud to be building this bridge in the regulatory compliance world.

How closely are you working with government regulators (FCA for example) to implement strong compliance solutions?

We follow their activities closely and engage in discussions and roundtables with regulators around the globe. It is crucial that they lead the digital transformation. 

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