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Regulators Turn Eye to AI, Data Analytics and Robo-Advice

On 2 April 2018, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Central Bank of Singapore ("MAS"), announced that it was working with the financial industry to develop a guide on responsible use of data analytics and artificial intelligence. The goal of the guide will be to set out key principles and best practices, helping financial institutions to strengthen internal governance and reduce risks of data misuse. Industry will be invited to comment on the draft in Q2 2018. The guide is expected to be complete at the end of 2018 and will cover all segments of the financial sector, including FinTech firms.

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission released their report on 28 March 2018 detailing the comments they have received about their proposed guidelines (issued in 2017) for the design and operation of online distribution and advisory platforms, including comments about the provision of "robo-advice" (using computer algorithms) for investments. The Commission decided to adopt the proposed guidelines with certain modifications, as explained in the report, which will become effective 12 months from the gazettal of the guidelines.

Canadian regulators have also begun to consider similar issues and their guidance and comment can be expected in the near term. The British Columbia Securities Commission, for example, issued a notice in January 2018 that it is seeking comment on the securities law framework for FinTech firms, including crowdfunding, "robo-advice" for investments, and cryptocurrency. The deadline for comments is today (3 April 2018).

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