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Bringing excellence to Compliance and Controls

15 October 2021

8 minute read

Bringing FinTech excellence to Compliance and Controls

Teams at Barclays are helping to shape the best technology in financial services by working with Clausematch, a FinTech company and graduate of the Barclays Accelerator, to create efficient, digital solutions that solve governance problems, contribute to substantial savings and de-risk many day-to-day operations in our Compliance and Controls teams. 

At the end of Q1 2021, Barclays launched the Barclays Policy Portal, which uses Clausematch’s cloud technology to store, publish and manage framework documents, policies and standards that can be accessed by all Barclays colleagues. Digitised workflows now allow updates to be easily tracked with a clear audit trail in a central, global system using the best of cloud-based application development.

The Portal is the Controls team’s latest innovation employing Clausematch technology. Previously, the Compliance team had transformed their operations with it, in a relationship with the FinTech spanning several years and involving close cooperation with experts in the FinTech. Both teams share a commitment to applying the best in new, digital solutions to address challenges at Barclays.

The benefits to Barclays of FinTech collaboration
Legacy processes and technology stacks in highly regulated industries, such as banking, affect the pace of digital adoption. Documentation management and tracking can often still be fragmented, difficult and time consuming. Clausematch’s technology has solved these problems with a cutting-edge platform and a simple digital experience that works with users and their needs. Document retrieval, analysis and development are transformed and simplified.

Barclays and Clausematch have collaborated since 2014 after the company was selected for the inaugural Barclays Accelerator. Evgeny Likhoded, Founder and CEO of Clausematch, cites Barclays’ imagination and teamwork as key to the success, at a time when other large organisations were still reluctant to partner on cloud-based technologies. “We both worked as one, close team with the expertise of a big bank and the technical agility of a startup, focused on delivery.”

The relationship has deepened recently, as COVID-19 resulted in more colleagues working from home, which demanded faster technological change and a more urgent release of the Policy Portal. Thanks to all of the teams involved in this innovation, Barclays now has a fully digital and centralised control environment for all colleagues, allowing a single source of truth for the Group’s policies and standards, and a clear audit trail to track changes in both. The benefits of this include new simplified workflows, time and resource savings: in general, the time taken to create, review and approve a policy has reduced by 25%, and publishing to the Policy Portal is now almost instant. Additional benefits include the elimination of human error and the uncovering of previously undetected risks.

In June, the number of colleagues using the Portal more than doubled since the launch in March – that’s over 33,000 of us already creating, reviewing, approving and using bank-critical documents on the new system. As Malcolm Brooke, Group Chief Control Officer, noted in May when this year’s refresh window closed, that was a great collaborative drive.

The Power of One Barclays forges a long-term relationship
As Richard Thompson, Head of Digital Product Development in BUK and formerly lead on the Barclays Accelerator, says: “Back in 2014, Clausematch was a smart and promising small company of just six people looking for the right product-market fit. We knew that their ideas chimed with Barclays’ digitisation goals and that they’d be able to benefit from the experience and mentoring of our business teams.” Clausematch were regional winners (shortlisted) and Barclays entrepreneur awards finalist for the Rise FinTech Company of the Year Award in 2020 and has since grown from a team of six in 2014 to about 60 employees.

Steve Burman, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Controls Officer in Group Compliance, took note of Clausematch’s value proposition and technical capabilities, and reached out to the company: “I knew that new ideas and technology held the key to solve many of the problems developing and maintaining documentation across many functions - compliance, control, standards, policy and regulation. It wasn’t long before we’d driven an initial one-month Proof of Concept (PoC) and worked closely with the company to roll out a new tool – the Policy Hub on Barclays Now”.

The Policy Hub was one of the Group’s first cloud-based technology rollouts. The Clausematch solution created cost-effective competitive advantage for the bank in a way that building a bespoke system ourselves could not practically have achieved. It’s a great example of effective external partnership.

This FinTech collaboration has deepened. The Compliance team’s work was a great foundation for the Controls Office to later turn the Policy Hub into the Policy Portal, which unifies the Group’s standards with a consistent and simple look-and-feel for users. “Close collaboration with the Clausematch team has allowed us to roll out a modern system with many of the new capabilities required by modern Tier 1 banks,” says Simon Fremont, Director for Policy and Standard Governance in the Chief Controls Office.

It really is all about collaboration in ways that Barclays can be proud of, as Emma Kempton, VP of Account Management at Clausematch, notes: “We really appreciate how Barclays has ‘given back’ and worked collaboratively with us. Their feedback has helped shape our solutions.”

Learn more
If you’re new to FinTech engagement but curious how these small agile companies and their cutting-edge technologies can add value to your team, consider these words from Simon Fremont: “Go in with an open mind. You have nothing to lose, you’ll learn a lot and you might forge a collaboration that will deliver significant benefits to Barclays.” 

  • Visit Rise, created by Barclays, the #HomeOfFinTech.
  • Learn more about Clausematch.

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