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The secretary general of the Union of Arab Banks has called on financial institutions in the region to increase their investment in regtech.

While fintech has been well adopted by Mena institutions, the same cannot be said for technology dedicated regulatory compliance.

“A major reason behind the complexity of the work of compliance officers is a tendency to rely heavily, perhaps overly, on technology in conducting banking and financial operations today,” said Wissam Fattouh who is also chairman of the Mena Financial Crime Compliance Group.

Speaking at a Mena Regulatory Summit, Fattouh said that the majority of financial institutions’ spending on new technology had focused on artificial intelligence and other services that could reduce operational costs by removing human intervention.

However, without greater investment in regtech applications, firms would be more exposed to cyber security risks and financial crime.

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