International Finance

Reporting to financial regulators: XBLR format creates confusion

Many FinTech companies are compelled to hire consultants

The reporting requirements to EU authorities for financial institutions have started to come into play within certain areas. This creates confusion since practical documentation is missing from the regulators and many FinTech companies are forced into the hands of consultants.

Financial institutions of various types are required to conduct periodic reporting to local regulators, like the Swedish financial inspection, and EUauthorities, like the European Banking Authority. Following the financial crisis of 2007/2008, numerous resolutions were passed to increase regulation of the participants in financial markets. These initiatives are now being implemented regularly. Both MiFID II and MiFIR are scheduled to be implemented in January 2018 with extensive reporting requirements and scarce information of how this should be implemented practically.

During 2017, financial institutions and FinTech companies were impacted by EUreporting. One example is the reporting file format called XBLR, where a lot of confusion exists.

The Swedish Tax Agency has great documentation and guidance of how and what to report with clear documentation and guidance together with technical specifications for software developers.

Unfortunately, the explosion of EUregulations during the last few years has impacted the Swedish financial inspection by way of increasing the workload. Documentation, guidance and specifications available for regulated companies are hard to find and not easy to understand.

The focus for companies and the regulators is not to launch better financial services but dedicating most resources to implementing regulations. This, in turn, impacts the consumer through higher costs.

Communication with government systems is mostly being conducted with various files, but it would be interesting to explore the use of open APIs as well.


Stefan Willebrand is CEO of Bricknode

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