RPA and Cognitive in the Securities Industry

Written by Edmundo Costa in Software robots in the workplace on June 8, 2017

It was a standing room-only crowd of 200+ finance operations industry professionals today at the FinTech Conference at Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) headquarters on Wall Street. I joined Gary Wiedman, Executive Director of UBS, and Mike Wade, Managing Director at Deloitte to speak on the topic of RPA and cognitive in today's securities industry.

Deloitte shared two bots in action, and Automation Anywhere displayed its industry-leading development speed and agility with a 4-minute build-a-bot demo using smart recorders, drag and drop commands, and wizard-driven editing. Gary shared two UBS bots in action, and predicted that the bank will have one of the largest deployment of bots in production in 2018.

For those of you who weren't able to experience Deloitte's and UBS' demonstrated processes in person, here's a summary.

Regulatory compliance tasks around e-monitoring. This bot was shown automating a process to download hundreds, even thousands, of client statements and identify cases where clients may have been over-billed for fees. Given the speed of the bots, institutions can now enable full testing of all transactions, rather than a partial sample.

Trade surveillance. Using three bots, Deloitte showed the efficient and effective end-to-end process of functionally validating a trade surveillance system. This involves sifting through a significant number of alerts, extracting data out of the individual alerts, and then classifying the alerts based on business rules to determine whether the functionality is accurate. By automating this laborious process, surveillance is faster and people can now focus on how to prevent the issues that the bots are detecting.

Asset transfers. UBS showed a bot automating an end-to-end mutual fund transfer process with RPA, providing relief to the branch and the home office, and providing an enhanced experience to clients.  The bot shortened a client-facing process from 5 days to 2 days, reduced the workload on the home office, and significantly reduced the work done offshore.

Determining tax eligibility for structured products. UBS showed the use of a combination of cognitive technology to inspect lengthy prospectus documents to determine tax eligibility, and RPA to automate an end-to-end process involving multiple technology tools and human input. This bot will help UBS comply with new tax regulations going into effect this year and next. This bot reduces the need to have dedicated teams performing reviews of lengthy documents – instead, the bots do the heavy lifting. This demonstration was very timely and engaging, as almost all of the audience members' companies will likely have a team internally working on compliance with this regulation, if they don’t already.

The attendees' palpable enthusiasm made it clear they now have a far greater understanding of how they can "bank" on automation’s ability to enhance their securities practices and compliance requirements.