FDIC to hold competition to modernize call reports

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced the start of a competition among technology firms to help modernize bank call reports.

The agency said Tuesday that it was holding a rapid prototyping competition, a form of innovation popularized in Silicon Valley and otherwise known as a tech sprint, to improve the exhaustive supervisory filings banks submit to regulators every quarter.

Twenty companies across the country have been tapped to compete over the next several months to develop an alternative system for reporting bank data, particularly the reporting done by community banks, the FDIC said.

The FDIC declined to name the contestants, saying only that they “represent leaders in the financial services, data management, data analytics" and artifcial intelligence/machine learning fields.

“These modern tools — and lessons learned in future competitions — will help make financial reporting seamless and less burdensome for banks, provide more timely and granular data to the FDIC on industry health, and promote more efficient supervision of individual banks,” the agency said in a press release.

Examiners use bank call report data to monitor institutions' safety and soundness, while the FDIC analyzes the data in its Quarterly Banking Profile, one of the most comprehensive reports about the health of the U.S. banking system.

The FDIC’s tech sprint kicked off Monday, when an initial batch of competitors received basic technical information about the agency’s call reporting systems and the basic criteria for a new data reporting product, including security parameters.

Firms were given 15 days to submit a concept paper outlining their proposed call reporting system. If approved by the FDIC to move on to the next round, the firms will then have 90 days to develop a product demo and, if approved again, another 90 days to develop a full-fledged prototype.

The FDIC will not announce winners or losers over the course of the competition, meaning that the agency will likely only disclose when it signs a production contract with one of the firms to acquire its prototype.

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