ACTS, FinTech, Treasury

TechInSG V2.0: Chat with SFA RegTech Sub-Committee Chionh Chye Kit CEO, Cypnosis and Guy Sheppard Head of APAC Financial Crime Compliance Initiatives, SWIFT

June 26, 2019
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TechInSG V2.0: Chat with SFA RegTech Sub-Committee

Excitement is in the air. 

The newly formed RegTech Sub-Committee chair Chionh Chye Kit, who is also the CEO of Cynopsis and Guy Sheppard, who heads SWIFT’s APAC Financial Crime, Intelligence and Initiatives, will be speaking on a panel during the TechInSG V2.0.

We cannot resist but ask Chye Kit and Guy on the reasons behind the creation of the RegTech Sub-Committee and their aspirations and goals that they have in mind.

Chionh Chye Kit - Chairman, RegTech Sub-Committee, Singapore Fintech Association and CEO & Co-Founder, Cypnosis Solutions Pte Ltd

ACTS:Is there a story behind the setting up of the SFA RegTech Sub-Committee? Why and what spurred you to chair this Sub-Committee?

CK:The idea came about about a year ago, when I was chatting with Hock Lai who is the President of SFA, on the FinTech scene in Singapore.”

“Cynopsis Solutions, a KYC SaaS company, has championed the RegTech cause since 2016. Back then RegTech was not exactly in vogue nor attracted high attention, as everyone was pretty much focusing on other domains in the FinTech world.

“We felt strongly that RegTech is a relatively new domain and we acknowledged that Singapore has built a reputation to be one of the world’s leading FinTech location.”

“We want to be part of this process of further developing Singapore into a world class FinTech ecosystem. And this should be complemented with an equally robust RegTech ecosystem.”

“Hence the concept evolved.

ACTS:And what do you think Cynopsis and/or yourself can help with solving the KYC central depository dream?

CK:You’ve hit the nail on the head – it is a dream. Given that it is a dream, why limit it to being “central” and its functions to being a “depository”? “

“KYC is an extremely broad topic as it encompasses many facets of knowing your customer at different points in time throughout the business relationship with a particular customer. People need to fundamentally understand the broader context of KYC in its current state before we can say if central depository dream is the solution.”

“If you narrow the view and look at Singapore alone, there are many stakeholders in this KYC affair. There are regulators (not just MAS but several others), many financial institutions and non-financial companies (not just banks), ACRA, MyInfo, database providers and so on. It is a whole eco-system that you are talking about.”

“Another noteworthy point is the existing manual and analogue processes that most of these regulated entities are carrying out today. The challenge is to transform these from their current state to future state and continue with it for as long as the business relationship lasts. Then we have the potential of using technologies such as blockchain, AI, etc.”

“Is there a magic pill somewhere? Imagine extending your view beyond Singapore to ASEAN, Asia Pacific, Europe and the rest of the world. Its mind boggling but very exciting to say the least. I will hold back for now, and will share more with the audience on 18 July.”  

Guy Sheppard - EXCO Member, RegTech Sub-Committee, Singapore Fintech Association and Head of APAC Financial Crime, Intelligence and Initiatives, SWIFT

ACTS: Will you be able to share why and what prompted you to be part of the SFA RegTech subcommittee.

Guy: “I think SWIFT as the original FinTech company is in a constant state of reinvention, so it makes sense to be a part of this distinguished committee.”

“In addition, I think that part of our wider role in the financial ecosystem is to promote innovation and collaboration, those are not buzz words for us but genuine core values for any SWIFT employee.”

“At SWIFT, we often enjoy privileged access to regulators and bank compliance teams. Thus I think that we are a natural hub for the definition and end solutioning of key regulatory compliance challenges as in many cases we are committed to the sole aim of addressing a systemic market issue. And I am a firm believer, as are many in our EXCO, that Regtech firms should be encouraged and supported to scale up ideas to actual solutions to help the wider community.

ACTS: And what do you think SWIFT and/or yourself can help with solving the KYC central depository dream?

Guy: “As for the Centralised utility dream, I think we have already made significant progress towards this end goal. The KYC Registry itself was launched 4 years ago. Now, it boasts over 5,500 connected entities globally and continues to grow as more financial institutions see the value in adopting a global standard in KYC through a secure and trusted platform.”

“We open up the current correspondent banking KYC doc and data exchange platform to the SWIFT connected corporates later this year. This is a massive leap forward for us, as well as corporate treasurers at multi-banked institutions. As this should ensure they too can adopt a single standard and remove a ton of duplicate cost and effort on a secure and trusted platform.

about author

ACT(S) is a non-profit organisation of individual memberships drawn from corporate treasurers and finance professionals involved in corporate treasury work. Members are typically in corporate organisations on the buy-side of the marketplace. Established in 1991 as the Treasurer's Club, the association has grown in numbers and spread. As Singapore increasingly become a treasury hub, membership now include group and regional corporate treasurers, treasury centre managers and other professional whose treasury activities cover a wide geographical spread.