ING has taken part in a $19.3 million Series B funding round for US-based regtech Ascent. ING backs AI-driven regulatory compliance solutions.
Ascent uses machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to help companies build, manage and automate regulatory compliance.
The investment, made via ING Ventures, will enable the four-year-old company to grow its team, product and brand awareness.
“As the regulatory environment becomes increasingly demanding, so is the pressure on firms to remain compliant,” says CEO of ING Ventures and chief innovation officer, Benoit Legrand.
“To keep up with this ever-changing landscape and help relieve the mounting strain on resources, the financial services sector is continuously looking for more automated, intelligent and cost-effective ways to manage compliance.”
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The investment follows a pilot project, overseen by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, in which ING and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) explored the potential of Ascent’s technology to create time and cost efficiencies for the banks.
Ascent’s artificial intelligence (AI) tech took just 2.5 minutes to complete an accurate review and analysis of the second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive/ Regulation (MiFID II/ MiFIR) – a process that took ING and CBA 1,800 hours of manual human effort.
The project concluded that Ascent could achieve a time saving of 49% per compliance officer per year.