Accenture Joins Veritas Consortium to Drive the Development of Responsible AI and Data Analytics in Financial Services

Singapore; July 13, 2021 — To drive greater adoption of responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the digital economy, Accenture (NYSE: ACN) is collaborating with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to lead and facilitate Phase 2 of its Veritas initiative. The collaboration with MAS will see Accenture work with the regulatory body and a consortium of 18 banks, insurers, and seven advisory companies to support the responsible use of AI in the Financial Services Industry (FSI).

In working with MAS, Accenture will provide its industry and technological expertise to help build a trusted environment for AI adoption within the financial sector in Singapore. Accenture will also work with partners to implement the defined framework on industry use cases in banking and insurance. The solution prototypes are published as guides for financial services companies looking to apply the framework to their organisation.

Introduced in 2019 as part of Singapore’s National AI Strategy, the Veritas Initiative aims to enable financial institutions to evaluate their Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA) implementations against the principles of Fairness, Ethics, Accountability and Transparency (FEAT). As part of this collaboration, Accenture will work with industry partners to lead the FEAT assessment workstreams to expand on the existing framework and operationalise the FEAT principles.

The evolving role of AIDA in financial services

The adoption of AI across the financial services industry is advancing at an unprecedented pace. Organisations are increasingly seeing AIDA as vital enablers to realise new efficiencies, drive growth and innovation, as well as improve the customer experience. In fact, Accenture’s research indicates that AI will provide the industry with US$140 billion in productivity gains and cost savings by 2025.

However, implementing AI also raises questions around ethics, data governance, trust, and legality. Accenture’s global survey of risk managers revealed that while 58% of respondents identified AI as the biggest potential cause of unintended consequences over the next two years, only 11% believed they were fully capable of assessing risks associated with organisation-wide AI adoption. The complexities are further compounded in regulated sectors such as banking and insurance where the inability to explain AI reasoning can expose firms to risks, ranging from legal challenges to a loss of customer trust.

"AI-driven decisions are increasingly influencing and impacting people’s lives. The development of a transparent, explainable, and fair AI framework is essential for companies looking to scale AI responsibly," said Lee Joon Seong, managing director and Accenture Applied Intelligence lead for Southeast Asia.

There is a strong impetus for businesses to put their ethical principles into practice. Research indicates that responsible AI practices can propel organisations to nearly triple their return on investments for AI.

"Fostering trust is critical to the success of AIDA implementations, especially with 88% of business leaders in an Accenture global research study indicating a lack of confidence in AI-based decisions. The Veritas initiative is an important platform in addressing this issue, as it provides organisations with a clear framework to implement AIDA in a fair, accountable, and transparent manner," added Joon Seong.

"Accenture is privileged to continue as a partner in supporting MAS in the exploration of new technology and its application to the financial industry, to position Singapore as an international financial hub. Veritas is set to be another successful collaboration following our successful partnership in Project Ubin," said James Gan, managing director in Accenture Financial Services for Southeast Asia.

The Veritas consortium will publish a white paper documenting the methodology for assessing FEAT in AIDA by the end of the year. It will also release an open-source code that enables financial institutions to adopt the fairness metrics in credit risk scoring and customer marketing.

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Yasmin Quek
Accenture Southeast Asia