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AI monitors NatWest communications to ensure advice is appropriate

NatWest is testing out artificial intelligence technology that listens to the conversations between its advisers and customers to help keep them compliant

NatWest bank is trialling artificial intelligence (AI) technology that monitors face-to-face and telephone conversations between staff and customers to ensure the best advice is given.

The bank aims to use the latest technology to make meeting regulations easier and reduce the chances of breaching them. This is part of the latest fintech revolution, dubbed regtech.

NatWest hopes the practice will further increase trust among its customers, after previously scrapping commission for frontline sales staff.

Conversations are recorded, encrypted and a file is uploaded to a secure cloud in real time. The technology from Recordsure enables both parties to listen back to the conversation via audio files stored in UK and US facilities that were originally built to protect data and people in the event of a nuclear attack.

AI, which learns over time, will monitor conversations to ensure regulatory rules are not broken.

According to Recordsure, its team of computational linguists, cognitive scientists and semantics experts have created an intelligent speech analysis tool.

Some of the technologies enabling innovation in regulatory compliance

Machine learning: As the volume of data analysed for various types of compliance increases, systems that use machine learning will become indispensable for companies’ regulatory success.

Big data analytics: Regulation technology, or regtech, uses analytics tools to intelligently mine existing big data datasets and unlock their true potential, for example by using the same data for multiple purposes.

Cloud computing: Cloud computing offers the agility to successfully respond to changing processes. It also delivers cost-effective applications and efficient modelling of new regulatory demands, along with technology that can be upgraded easily.

Source: Sapan Agarwal, Frost & Sullivan Asia-Pacific

“Unlike traditional speech analysis, which simply monitors for keywords or phrases, our sophisticated artificial intelligence is designed to derive meaning from natural conversations, even those about complex financial or legal topics.”

Les Matheson, CEO for personal and business banking at NatWest, said the bank wanted to restore trust and give customers complete confidence in its services.

“Last year we scrapped bonuses for frontline staff so customers would know our advice was based on their needs, not commission. This trial goes even further, and we look forward to seeing how it can improve the service we provide.”

NatWest is currently trialling the technology with some of its mortgage advisors.

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