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It was mid-February 2022 when the board of the Canadian RegTech Association (CRTA) was approached by the leadership team at CIO Strategy Council (now the Digital Governance Council) about a unique opportunity to jointly develop a submission into the Standards Council of Canada’s (SCC) call for proposals for standards development projects. The primary criteria was that the proposals needed to provide value to Canadian stakeholders and aim to create:

  • First-to-market advantage;

  • Enhanced market access and positioning;

  • Supply chain opportunities;

  • Capitalization and protection of Intellectual Property (IP)

At that time, and still largely remains the case today, the vendor community was rapidly evolving the development and commercial release of Fintech and RegTech solutions that were being met by a cautious, reserved interest by Financial Institutions. Against this backdrop, the CRTA and the DGC embarked on a 15 month process that captured insights from a series of workshops that gathered over 75 AI/ML stakeholders representing diverse sectors, including FIs, fintech vendors, regulators, academics, consultants, and think tanks.

The collective results were reflected in the publication of a seminal Workshop Agreement in May 2023 entitled "DGSI/WA: 2023 Baseline Requirements for Vendors Offering AI/ML Lifecycle Solutions to Financial Institutions".

In summary, the Agreement addresses the critical need for risk mitigation associated with third-party AI/ML solutions via a comprehensive set of voluntary minimum requirements that enable FI’s to identify and address a series of risks up front during the vendor due diligence and procurement stages of software evaluation.

Ultimately, the Workshop Agreement not only bolsters FIs in enhancing their capabilities but also fosters innovation opportunities for fintech vendors, thereby cultivating trust and stability within the Canadian financial landscape. One of the key member organizations of CRTA, Halo Ai actively participated in the workshops and subsequently decided that they would be the first technology company to incorporate the Baseline Requirement into their SaaS offering.

Today, June 5th 2024, I was thrilled to read the news release from the Digital Governance Council which features an extensive Q&A with Nagy Ghobrial, Co-Founder and CTO of Halo Ai detailing the company’s decision to incorporate the elements of the Workshop Agreement into their SaaS commercial offering.

The workshop agreement, complemented by contributions from industry leaders like Halo Ai, not only enhances FIs' capabilities and improves time to market but it promotes innovation opportunities for fintech vendors. It provides a unified approach to tackle common challenges associated with outsourcing AI lifecycle processes, ultimately fostering trust and stability within the Canadian financial landscape.

Contribution from Paul Childerhose, Member of the Board of the CRTA

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