Top 5 Trends We Saw at FINRA 2018

| May 30 2018

We learned a lot at this year's FINRA Annual Conference. Here are a few of the top trends we observed at this year's event after attending sessions and speaking with regulators and companies onsite. 


1. The possibilities are endless with AI for compliance

At this point, it’s no secret that AI is revolutionizing processes in the business world, but what will that look like for compliance professionals? This year at FINRA, we heard more about AI being used as a tool for proactively identifying risks.


A particular concern for many compliance professionals is the sheer amount of data that is subject to regulations like FINRA 10-06 and SEC 17a-4. As our collaborative abilities expand, humans will no longer be able to manage this data on their own. Professionals are seeking to put AI-based solutions in place so that they can get ahead before it becomes too easy to fall behind.


2. American companies are trying to get ahead of GDPR

If your inbox is clogged with “We’ve updated our privacy policy” emails, you’re not alone. While not directly related to FINRA, the buzz was certainly there. Many companies are establishing information governance protocols that address GDPR and prepare for the inevitable passing on similar laws in the US and around the world. Plus, since FINRA and SEC have regulations surrounding the use of customer data, the general consensus is that finding tools that allow compliance professionals to address all of these regulatory concerns in one place is going to be a top priority.


3. The move towards dynamic, interactive content is complicated 

Websites are constantly becoming more interactive. As marketing teams add more interactive calculators, forms and more to create a better experience for customers, compliance professionals are often left struggling to fully preserve the content. Taking a series of screenshots is too tedious, when the possibilities that a calculator can generate are virtually infinite.


Internally, Slack, HipChat and other collaborative tools are making things difficult for compliance professionals. The unstructured data in these platforms means that PDFs are no longer enough to capture the dynamic nature of the content within them. 

4. Social media is still tough to manage

How can compliance professionals manage employee communications on social media? The answer is still complicated, but without a process in place, companies face the risk of hefty potential fines. Many organizations have resorted to banning social media entirely, but most understand that this practice is more of a temporary patch than anything. 


A screenshot just doesn't cut it when it comes to understanding the context surrounding a social media post. Since most posts contain links or interactive features, including "likes" and "comments," compliance teams are seeking options to manage the complete story of social media content.


5. Cryptocurrency isn’t going anywhere

ICOs, Blockchain, Bitcoin...these terms seemed to come up in quite a few sessions. For FINRA-regulated organizations, there's a combination of trying to both understand the implications that cryptocurrency will have on current regulations and trying to get ahead of the curve before it gains even more popularity. 


The consensus is clear: there's no way to fully understand the spectrum of possibility that cryptocurrency brings to the financial industry. However, we do know that the recent skyrocket in popularity means that regulations are inevitable, and it's going to take advanced technology to comprehensively address these regulations. 


Bonus Trend - Everyone loves funnel cake!

If you missed out on our funnel cake food truck, don't worry! We're already planning something exciting for FINRA 2019 Annual Conference. If you'd like to schedule a call to find out how Hanzo can help your organization manage FINRA, SEC and other regulations (or just reminisce about the amazing smell of funnel cake), we'd love to show you a personalized demo. Click the link below to set up a time to talk to our team.





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