RegTech Mauritius 2017

Afsar Ebrahim Renu Audit Shahannah B Abdoolakhan Philippe Lassine.JPG

RegTech Mauritius 2017

Abler Consulting Ltd and its partner CDDS Luxembourg SA hosted the RegTech Mauritius 2017 conference at the Hennessy Park Hotel in Ebène today, gathering around 150 professionals from the financial services industry and representatives of the Financial Services Commission to consider how innovation in RegTech can automate compliance and improve business efficiency.

The conference was opened by Ms Shahannah B. Abdoolakhan, CEO of Abler Consulting Ltd, and the speakers included Mr Prakash Seewoosunkur from the Financial Services Commission, Mr. Philippe Lassine, CEO of CDDS Luxembourg SA, Mr. Afsar Ebrahim, Deputy Group Managing Partner of BDO & Co and Ms. Renu Audit, the Group Legal Counsel of CIM Group.

Commenting on the event, Ms Shahannah B. Abdoolakhan, stated: “Until now, here in Mauritius we have been concentrating mainly on ‘FinTech’. There has not been a full RegTech solution available, or even a session on what RegTech is, how it can be used, and how it can accompany Mauritian and international companies in moving to the next level in ensuring compliance, in the light of international challenges. Mauritius is doing everything possible to move towards a ‘FinTech’ country and new compliance solutions in RegTech can help to boost the credentials of the Mauritius International Financial Centre (IFC). I am very pleased that our partner CDDS Luxembourg SA is here with us to help companies to become more compliant, which will strengthen the position of Mauritius as a well-reputed jurisdiction.”

Mr. Philippe Lassine, CEO of CDDS Luxembourg SA, commented: “RegTech is important for Mauritius for a simple reason. Implementing regulations is always a tough exercise but with the help of RegTech you can ‘modellise’ your own processes. Improved risk management will improve the quality of the whole Mauritius IFC and it will improve the image of Mauritius vis-à-vis the outside world. RegTech initiatives have been developed from those inside the world of internal audit and compliance to meet tomorrow’s challenges. Fostering entrepreneurship is key if Mauritius wishes to stimulate RegTech.”

Speaking at the event on behalf of the Financial Services Commission, Mr Prakash Seewoosunkur said that as a robust IFC coupled with a vibrant ICT industry, Mauritius was ideally placed to capitalise on the new developments, and noted that the Government had decided to further promote innovative activities including blockchain. He said that Mauritius is targeting to position itself as a regional financial hub and to create maximum advantages. He said that “RegTech is the pathway for positioning Mauritius as a digital economy and boosting new business ventures”. He recalled that the FSC had been asked to set up rules to regulate FinTech, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding, and that peer-to-peer lending rules were currently being finalised. He said that the FSC was pleased that RegTech was coming fast to the shores of Mauritius, and that it was reassuring to have software like CDDS that provides for ongoing customer due diligence and transaction monitoring.

Ms Renu Audit, Group Legal Counsel of Cim Group, highlighted that the evolution of regulations had created a lot of distrust in institutions, and that real time compliance was taking over from ‘ticking boxes’. In terms of whether RegTech is really a ‘silver bullet’ she said that it was important to take account of agility, speed, integration and analytics, and the growth of cloud-based solutions. She said that the key outcomes would be to ensure the clarity and efficiency of regulations and automated reporting, amongst others, and that security was very important with a ramping up of cybercrime. She concluded that the main opportunity was a ‘frictionless eco-system’, but one which was not free of risk.

Mr. Afsar Ebrahim, Deputy Group Managing Partner of BDO & Co, saw that the industry was looking for answers. He said that “technology is growing at a frightening pace, and business leaders need to know how to invest and how much is enough?”. He stated that the challenge as an offshore operator or financial provider is the reputational risk which anyone can get caught up in. He saw that the risk in Mauritius is much higher than in Dubai or Singapore because it is a democracy, and that robust processes and procedures, and the right tools, were needed.

Samantha Seewoosurrun