Michael Nicastro, CEO
Each year, financial institutions spend a substantial amount of time, effort, and budget to mitigate risks and ensure compliance with ever-increasing regulatory requirements. In addition to dealing with the complex nature of their business, banks and financial services organizations often find themselves manually managing governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) initiatives discretely and in an unsynchronized manner to meet deadlines as regulatory scrutiny is at an all-time high. The events of 2020 only made things worse. Covid-19 was unprecedented, and it hit the world by storm, disrupting our lives and industries across the board. But it posed a different challenge for financial institutions, one that could lead to a complete shutdown. These companies had to quickly pivot—at scale—to sustain their business while ensuring compliance at every step. And given their siloed way of tackling GRC, the task at hand was in no way easy to achieve. While dedicated GRC management systems can help automate certain aspects and create workflows, they often lack the relevant and timely content required to make such initiatives seamless. To this end, financial institutes need a solution that can foster an integrated approach to compliance and risk management, proactively offer timely content, and automate the entire process.
“When companies look at compliance and risk alongside the tools that help manage them, what they yearn for is pre-curated content. They don’t want to or in most cases, have the time to spend performing manual tasks. We help them save that time. If there is a new regulation being passed, we digest that information, curate content to explain was has changed the simplest of ways and turn it into actionable information and workflow. This enables our clients to move forward much faster and with confidence,” says Michael Nicastro, CEO, Continuity.
Founded in 2008, Continuity is a leading provider of Regulatory Technology (RegTech) solutions that automate compliance and risk management for financial institutions of all sizes. By combining regulatory expertise and cloud technology, the company provides a proven way to reduce regulatory burden and mitigate compliance risk in an efficient and cost-effective platform. “Our solutions are designed to automate all aspects of compliance management, from interpretation of regulatory issuances through intuitive task delegation, vendor management, and board reporting. We combine our RegTech expertise with technology to deliver RegTech solutions that provide measurable value,” says Nicastro.
At its core, the Continuity platform works as a unified set of solutions offering an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and compliance management system (CMS) solution which are designed to make risk and compliance a seamless part of how financial organizations operate. Their secure, cost-effective, and cloud-based risk and compliance software is easy to use and comes with a range of modules— RiskAdvisor™, VendorRisk, RegAdvisor® Pro, RegAdvisor® State, RegControls™, ControlsBuilder™, Policy and Procedure Management, and VendorManagement—that customers add as needed. “Our central source of control works across all disparate systems to streamline our client’s risk and compliance processes. By consolidating their efforts, clients can improve the oversight of these critical areas without additional burden to the bottom line,” says Nicastro.
If there is a new regulation being passed, we digest that information, curate content to explain the changes in the simplest of ways, and turn it into actionable items and workflow
To better understand Continuity’s value proposition and how it works, one must dive deep into each module that the company offers—starting off with the RegAdvisor Pro and RegAdvisor State. While the former provides a turnkey analysis and the tools required to implement federal regulatory changes, the latter is a feed of regulatory change alerts that are issued by all 50 States or can be limited to states a client serves. Whenever a regulatory change occurs, Continuity’s Regulatory Operations Center (ROC) analyzes that change to proactively inform clients of the date it’s going to take effect and deadline, as well as provide them with the implementation steps to address it. “If we receive a multi-page raw alert from regulatory bodies, we can compress the contents by upwards of 95%. Clients can easily understand what’s happening or what needs to be done without having to worry about missing a key element or engaging third-party counsel,” says Nicastro. Also, when the two tools are used in combination, clients can track consolidate their federal and state compliance processes in one place.
To help clients control the compliance process internally, the company offers RegControls that comes with hundreds of pre-built controls also kept current by Continuity’s ROC. Be it consumer compliance, lending and deposit operations, Community Reinvestment Act, Fair Lending, or any others, clients can rely on RegControls to keep their compliance officers updated on what needs to happen and when, to control the compliance process throughout their organization.
“We also allow customers to build their own custom Controls, tailored to their business needs and unique requirements with the ControlsBuilder,” asserts Nicastro. This technology ensures compliance with internal policies and procedures by creating accessible online Controls. ControlsBuilder allows companies to consolidate their compliance work on a single platform — it is easy to maintain and use, it generates centralized reports, and increases the accuracy of their compliance processes.
Continuity also offers a dedicated risk management product dubbed RiskAdvisor that helps financial institutions identify, measure, monitor, and control risk using a simple uniform approach. It provides built-in expertise with over 4,000 pre-identified key risk indicators tied to over 150 risk assessments to measure and monitor an institution’s current risks. “The platform brings all risk assessments into one dashboard to simplify and aggregate the data to produce meaningful and comprehensive reports, which clients can use to proactively address issues,” asserts Nicastro. Last, but not least is the company’s offering to manage and reduce risk exposure from third-party vendors— VendorManagement and VendorRisk. They help in vendor management and assessing risk on an on-going basis. As a result, clients can eliminate the need for high-priced legal and consulting fees. “We enable our clients to create an environment where risk can be understood and identified, then measured and monitored in real time—to act on it when it needs to be contained,” says Nicastro.
With such bespoke solutions, the company is always on a drive to improve and excel. Even with the pandemic lurking around, Continuity is leaving no stones unturned to achieve its goal. “There’s a ‘new normal’ in the risk and compliance arena because the COVID-19 environment has made it essential to stay ahead of the regulatory curve. Our solutions address the growing challenges that financial executives are experiencing every day. Each one of our new clients has selected Continuity’s RegAdvisor Pro platform to reduce time interpreting regulations, contain costs and increase efficiencies,” says Nicastro. “This year, we envision building a complete suite of risk and compliance solutions that will also provide an in-depth view of a financial institution’s performance based on the risk and compliance settings. This will make our solution more robust and efficient, while giving clients no reason to look elsewhere.”