In a move to modernize financial reporting to the government and enable AI capabilities across new data sets, Reps. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., introduced a bill on May 4 that would make the information reported to Federal financial regulatory agencies electronically searchable.

The Financial Transparency Act would also “further enable the development of RegTech (Regulatory Technology) and AI applications,” its sponsors said.

“The Financial Transparency Act will finally bring financial reporting and transparency into the 21st Century – making information more easily accessible to both regulators and the public,” Rep. Maloney said in a press release. “This bill is a true win-win because it helps investors, businesses, and the government. I’ve long been an advocate for structured data in financial reporting.”

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The bill would require the nation’s eight financial regulatory institutions to adopt data collection standards for the information they already collect under current law. The idea, according to the bill’s long title, is to “put the United States on a path towards building a comprehensive Standard Business Reporting program to ultimately harmonize and reduce the private sector’s regulatory compliance burden, while enhancing transparency and accountability, and for other purposes.”

The bill also would push the regulatory agencies to replace paper forms with electronic forms and make all of the data available in an open-source, downloadable format.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has proven the critical role that technology plays in our financial system,” Rep. McHenry said in the same release. “It just makes sense for financial regulators to use technology to make public data more easily accessible – increasing transparency and decreasing regulatory burdens. Streamlining data sets benefits everyone from financial institutions to tech startups and I’m glad to join Congresswoman Maloney in reintroducing this commonsense legislation.”

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.