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February 14, 2020

Transforming data collection from the UK financial sector

The Bank of England has put forward a discussion paper on the challenges of collecting and using data from the financial markets. They have also put forward strong ideas on how move a messy situation forward. Any firm providing reporting data should take a look at the options and provide their input to the consultation.

Anyone involved in the data collection and delivery for regulatory reporting will know how many issues come up in normalising and transforming data to suit the needs of regulatlors. The Bank of England wants to engage the market in a consultation based on some radical ideas on how to move this situation forward.

Amongst their proposals are ideas such as:

  • Better industry data standards (ISDA CDM gets a mention)
  • Using code or tools like XML to specify the data requirements
  • Using APIs into financial institutions to pull data out under their control
  • Using an industry utility into which all of this work is placed
  • Lower level and more granular data collection

The BoE Intro

Financial firms depend critically on good information. Fuller, faster, more accurate and more insightful information can make the difference in how competitive they are. As a result, we are now seeing significant investment in new technology to improve the analysis and storage of large volumes of data.

The Bank of England also depends on good and timely information. We cannot fulfil our objectives of monetary and financial stability without an accurate picture of the economy, the financial system and firms we regulate. And, just like those regulated firms, the Bank too has ambitious plans to use new technologies to improve the collection and analysis of data, including from its regulatory returns.

Earlier this year, in its response to the Van Steenis “Future of Finance” report, the Bank committed itself to the development of a “world-class regtech and data strategy”. The ultimate aim is to make data collection significantly more efficient for firms while at the same time improving the Bank’s ability to use what we do collect more effectively.

Because it determines what information is required of regulated firms, the Bank has a significant influence on their data strategies and plays an important part in shaping how firms approach their own data. There is therefore the potential to make improvements that also support firms’ own use of data, making them more productive and competitive.

This paper seeks to lay the foundations for joint work to reform data collection over the next decade. The long timescale recognises that this will be a substantial challenge, and that we will need time to identify and implement the right solutions. It is also designed to encourage us to explore more radical changes, without the constraints that come with shorter timescales.

This needs to be an inclusive exercise, which looks across the full range of firms and collections. We want to hear from anyone with an interest, not just the largest banks and insurers. There will not be a one-size-fits-all solution, so it is vital that we build a full understanding of the diversity of experiences with data collection across the financial system.

We also know that data collection by the Bank represents just one aspect of the reporting challenge that firms face. So we are committed to identifying where there are overlaps and opportunities with other authorities in the UK and internationally, and pursuing closer collaboration as we all respond to the opportunities offered by the new data landscape. For example, we are working closely with the FCA on data initiatives such as the pilot on digital regulatory reporting. The Bank and the FCA will continue to work closely together to ensure that reforms to data collection are aligned.

We are pleased to launch this discussion paper with the aim of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Bank’s data collections, and supporting wider developments in data use.

Ben Broadbent
Deputy Governor, Monetary Policy Bank of England

Sam Woods
Deputy Governor, Prudential Regulation and Chief Executive of the Prudential Regulatory Authority

The paper was published via this page at the BoE, and is also attached below.

 


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