AN INITIATIVE FOR INNOVATION LEADERS WHO ARE SHAPING THE FUTURE OF FINANCIAL SUPERVISION
- Addressing critical challenges of today’s economies and societies
- Using data to inform decision-making processes and to empower people
- Creating financial sectors that are innovative and inclusive, and that drive sustainability
While financial services are becoming increasingly global, digital, and complex, all over the world financial authorities are drowning in an ocean of paper and excel spreadsheets. Analog processing and antiquated technologies in data gathering, validation, storage, and analysis erode the analytical capabilities of supervisory agencies, who are often too late in protecting consumers from fraud, and seeing signs of stress in the financial system – or miss the underlying causes. This is all happening while financial crime remains a trillion-dollar issue.
The Lab is a welcoming home for constructive expression of these passions with the goal of digitally transforming financial sector supervision. The Lab provides all the ingredients to realize this impact – from research to executive education to technical assistance, and all the way through crafting production-grade suptech solutions.
In our vision, effective digital supervision and regulation are critical components to make our economies and societies more equitable and sustainable. By augmenting the capabilities of supervisory authorities via the Lab’s work, we’ll enable sustainable delivery of innovative financial services, greater protection of consumers, and the pursuit of other policy objectives such as financial stability and integrity, as well as more accountability in the management of environmental, governance, and other emerging risks.
Beyond this direct empowerment of supervisors, we are also a home for answering deeper, longer-term questions around collaboration and the adoption of technology across the global supervisory community. For example: Where are the opportunities for cross-jurisdictional collaboration? How might data be more effectively shared via data commons or exchanges? What components of the suptech solutions live in the private sector’s vendor marketplace vs as digital public goods vs open-source software?
Part of our vision is also to reduce the current dependency on the relatively scarce, expensive set of international experts and instead develop an online community supported by augmentative digital tools to increase financial authorities’ capabilities and peer-collaboration among supervisors.
Every year, around USD $ 1.6 trillion of proceeds from financial crime are laundered and legitimized through the global financial system.
A 2018 study by the Federal Reserve Board found that the 2008 crisis costed every single American approximately $70,000.
The initiative is gender intentional, aiming to seek and encourage the participation and engagement of female regulators, supervisors, and technologists, as well as incorporating gender equality / inclusiveness into the design of the suptech applications and conceptualization of data analytics.
Moreover, we are very intentional in designing and developing applications that level the digital divides rather than deepening them, working to make technology more accessible for people with different physical and cognitive abilities, for linguistic minorities, groups with low digital and financial literacy, etc. We also intend to drive fairness in AI systems reducing algorithmic bias. We are aware that technology can exacerbate exclusion. Therefore, our explicit goal is to use data and tools for better inclusion outcomes.
We are keenly aware of the sustainability challenges of the 21st century. Although onsite work is sometimes unavoidable due to the nature of our work, where possible, we use remote methods to implement the initiative (e.g., the Innovation Leadership Programme is all online), with members of our team and partners being advised to avoid any unnecessary travel. We utilize a carbon offset program when travel is necessary to mitigate our impact. Moreover, when the scope of a project we undertake includes the assessment of different technologies for the development and deployment of new applications we evaluate those technologies’ environmental sustainability.
The Cambridge SupTech Lab is housed within the University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at the Cambridge Judge Business School.