Securities regulators increasingly employing tech tools to speed probes

Securities regulators increasingly employing tech tools to speed probes

TORONTO — Securities regulators say they are increasingly employing data analytics and other sophisticated tools to track down financial miscreants faster, but these technologies won’t be able to fully replace human judgment.

The director of enforcement at the Ontario Securities Commission said Thursday that they need these tools to crunch the mindnumbing volume of data it takes in for investigations, and do it in weeks, not years.

Jeff Kehoe said during a panel discussion in Toronto that regulators can no longer use traditional tools in the ever-changing marketplace, with advances such as cryptocurrencies and high-frequency trading.

The monetary authority of Singapore’s executive director of enforcement Gillian Tan said during the OSC event on Thursday it has developed a tool with data scientists to analyze data to detect circular trading patterns in hours, rather than months.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s co-director of enforcement Stephanie Avakian said it too has used these tools to speed up their probes, but it doesn’t replace the need for experienced investigators to go through the findings and use judgment.

As well, Avakian said when financial misdeeds later go before a jury, human witnesses are still needed to help present their case.

The Canadian Press

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