On Thursday, April 20, 2023, FINRA CAT announced another delay related to the compliance date for the Customer Account and Information System (CAIS), which will complete the multi-year phased implementation of CAT. It can be a challenge for firms to keep up with regulatory changes while maintaining resources with the necessary expertise to support a robust compliance program and conduct thorough assessments. Failure to comply can result in hefty fines and significant reputational damage.
Compliance and regulatory consulting is an essential function in the financial industry. It helps to ensure that industry participants stay up-to-date with the latest regulatory developments, comply with relevant laws, regulations and industry best practice standards. Reporting to the CAT is no exception.
CAT reporting is complicated, and firms can report to CAT in a variety of ways. Most firms use a CAT Reporting Agent (CRA) to report to CAT on their behalf. However, this reporting scenario increases risk, requires additional surveillance, and requires regular due diligence. Consultants can perform risk assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities, develop mitigation strategies and provide surveillance policies to further manage reporting risks.
Experience is another important factor when it comes to successfully navigating CAT reporting. The right consulting partner provides valuable insights and guidance based on their experience working with other firms in similar situations. A fresh perspective helps avoid common pitfalls, streamlines processes, and allows for more informed decisions.
Consultants also allow the firm to outsource tasks such as data management, surveillance, and reporting. In addition to ensuring regulatory requirements are being met, outsourcing allows a firm’s internal resources to focus on its core competencies and invest in additional strategic initiatives to drive growth. Often, this leads to an increase in overall efficiencies and cost reduction in the long term.
Technology is critical component of CAT reporting and should be utilized to improve compliance while driving business growth and innovation. The right consulting firm has their finger on the pulse of current industry developments. It can provide technology solutions to automate processes, improve data accuracy and enhance reporting capabilities.
Not all consulting firms and consultants are equal when it comes to regulatory reporting. Oyster Consulting provides solutions through our consulting services and our proprietary CAT reporting software. Our consultants use their deep regulatory experience in trade reporting to help firms achieve their CAT reporting obligations and get the most out of their CAT reporting investment.
Our proprietary Oyster Solutions CAT reporting application consolidates CAT reporting events, error analysis and validation data into a central program. The CAT Application then will identify errors, linkage and gaps between vendor data and CAT reported data.