Remember the old days when financial institutions would receive multiple information requests by various regulators, and in response, spend weeks sending the same physical documents and reports, over and over again, to fulfill each request? Even now, most financial institutions have to devote time and resources to obtaining and then delivering documentation to regulators during exams, audits and investigations. Furthermore, these resources remain on call throughout the examination process to provide additional documentation should the need arise.
I have a unique perspective on this process because I lived it for several weeks each year, every year. I realized very early on that regulatory examination and audit requirements did not often change, and this represented an opportunity to stay ahead of each audit or exam and avoid the inevitable operational “blackout” period, or the period of time when implementations, vendor due diligence, and development projects grind to a halt in favor of examination and audit obligations, that would predictably occur come exam time. Unfortunately, the examination process has been, historically, a paper process, making any attempt to act on this opportunity impossible – until now.
Challenges and opportunities
Based on my experience receiving and responding to regulatory information requests, the Data Delivery Standards issued by the SEC are philosophically in line with what I would expect from FINRA, OCC, FDIC and state regulatory agencies to eventually require. Although the specifics of the requirements may be different, the objective will be the same: the delivery of electronic content in a consistent format. And while this inevitable shift by regulatory agencies presents obvious challenges to many financial institutions, it also presents them with a number of opportunities.
Institutions now can save time and money, automate data output processes, and position themselves for any new data delivery standards that appear in the future. Effective output management solutions give financial institutions the opportunity to leverage their investments in enterprise content management systems by automating the discovery and delivery process.
How does it work?
Systemware Output Management capabilities make it possible for financial institutions to automate the discovery and delivery of customer and account records, reports and operational documentation by creating searches that span the enterprise. Configured to the specifications of the financial institution, these searches can point to the latest version of a policy, specific transaction reports, IDS logs, loan packages or anything else that an auditor or examiner might want to see. The resulting content and associated metadata can then be combined into a single output file.
While Systemware Output Management packages and delivers content in accordance with current SEC data delivery standards – text, delimited and XLS – it also provides financial institutions the flexibility to respond to any electronic data delivery needs they might face in the future by standardizing the content output. Content of any type can be combined into a single PDF output file including bookmarks to each document or report contained within it, as well as embedded attachments of non-visible content types such as audio, for easy navigation and discovery.
Most financial institutions have been capturing, transforming and storing electronic content for years. With Systemware and our output management capabilities, financial institutions can use and re-use this content in many ways to save time and money, automate data discovery and improve data delivery. While I have described output management in terms of data delivery from the perspective of a financial institution, output management has applications for any organization in any industry. Whether you are presenting data as the result of a subpoena, providing documentation to a regulator, or performing customer research, output management makes any data delivery process more efficient and cost effective.