Michelle Neufeld, head of compliance for Wells Fargo's financial institutions, sees compliance and technology like a family relationship.
Governments are the parents, and financial institutions are the children. It's all good as long as the kids follow the rules.
But there's a problem with technology -- especially artificial intelligence. The parents don't really want the children to share that information.
Joining other industry leaders at a conference in Sydney, Neufeld talked about challenges facing financial institutions across borders. She said laws are holding them back from implementing needed technology.
As financial institutions try to update compliance systems, they are struggling to balance privacy expectations. She said guidelines dictate they "can't know things outside of this country or this jurisdiction."
"But even within a single jurisdiction, if you have multiple legal entities, you've got a bank, a broker dealer, an asset manager -- you're not allowed to share information amongst your siblings," she said. "You may be able to share information up to your parents, but you cannot share that information across siblings."
Neufeld said financial institutions need to work with the regulators to to realize the potential of new technologies. Adrien Delle-Case, an international policy advisor, agreed.
"We need to overhaul everything," he said. "We need to apply AI."
AI could help with everything from automating simple tasks to fighting financial crime. Delle-Case said current laws prohibit such innovation.