Winner: RISE (Risk and Internal Systems Environment)

Parties involved: Aktif Yatırım Bankası, TAC Bilisim Hizmetleri

The cost and burdensome nature of staying compliant is the bane of the financial services industry, particularly following the raft of regulations after the global crisis. Universally, banks are looking for ways to cut compliance costs, while making sure they do not fall on the wrong side of the regulator. 

Turkish investment bank Aktif Bank took home the compliance award in 2017 for its innovative approach of bringing together governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) and business process management (BPM) onto a single platform. 

“When searching for a system to monitor GRC and BPM processes on a single platform, we found a lack of products on the market. Of the existing systems, the structures and features did not live up to our expectations,” says Hakan Özat, managing director of internal systems group at Aktif Bank. Therefore, the bank – with support from local consultancy and technology company TAC Bilisim Hizmetleri – built a tailor-made solution called Risk and Internal Systems Environment (RISE).

RISE effectively digitised the bank’s audit, control and GRC processes, allowing it to monitor all regulations electronically. Furthermore, recently issued international and domestic regulations are now associated clause by clause as metadata with the processes on the system, retained in a library and transformed into data that may be used in GRC management. 

Previously, the bank had manually managed audit, control and GRC processes, working mainly through e-mail correspondence, personal conversations and Microsoft Word/Excel files. This made reporting and monitoring activities onerous. In addition, there was no standard approach, which led to duplication of work in areas of inter-related processes.

The availability of the entire compliance-related inventory as metadata on the system has delivered substantial operational efficiencies. For example, previously the audit team spent a few days searching through the regulations and procedures before starting the audit process; now this process takes just a few hours.

Additionally, the bank achieves an effective compliance assurance since the business units can digitally access all statutory regulations and the bank’s procedures (clause by clause), as well as all regulatory authorities’ and compliance department’s opinions in relation to a respective process. 

Aktif Bank believes that the framework, which has been tailor-made for the bank, will introduce an important innovation to the industry as all its requirements are satisfied rapidly thanks to the platform’s flexible structure, considerably shortening the response time to any structural and/or functional regulatory changes.