In case you didn’t know, RegTech is a thing. It’s not only a thing. It’s shaping up to be the next big thing. The next big, exciting, disrupting, money-making, technologically-transforming thing.

There are questions about whether RegTech is an offspring of FinTech or perhaps a cousin of LegalTech. At this stage, what we do know is that it is the newest member of the family. What its exact relationship is to the other techs will no doubt become clearer with time.

RegTech is technology that helps organisations comply with regulations. So what? You may ask. In case you haven’t noticed, we live in a world heavy with regulations and compliance obligations. When organisations miss the mark on compliance, it can have catastrophic consequences on their reputation and bottom line.

Talking about bottom lines, the CSIRO has estimated that compliance has become Australia’s fastest growing sector at an estimated cost of $250 billion a year. RegTech’s promise is to save Australian organisations billions of dollars each year currently being spent on laborious compliance tasks. RegTech also aims to raise compliance effectiveness.

Last week, Legal Practice Intelligence attended the “first home-grown meeting” of Australia’s new and fast-growing RegTech Association at its new home at the new Stone & Chalk startup hub in Sydney.

Beginnings and newness are exciting and there was excitement in the air at this event. Around 70 people attended. We received an update of recent activities of the RegTech Association. Representatives of Association members in attendance stood up and gave a brief introduction of their RegTech ventures.

It wasn’t just the RegTech entrepreneurs that were excited. In attendance were representatives of banks and big businesses. Notably, we heard from representatives of ASIC and Microsoft who told us about their interest in RegTech startups and made it known that their doors were always open to them.

We had an in-depth presentation from a startup called Meetig8 which also mentioned that it will be kicking off a funding round. The formal part of the event finished with a panel discussion and Q&A.

During the event, there were a couple of moments when speakers seemed to express some self-identity angst around RegTech as a thing. Was RegTech ‘sexy’ enough? Did RegTech have a role in improving corporate ethics?

There was humour: apparently, if you include the word ‘Blockchain’ in your Powerpoint slides, it will increase the valuation of your startup. Based on the atmosphere at the meeting, that tactic will not be necessary.

© 2018 Legal Practice Intelligence