Financial research leader advocates regulators making certain financial data openly available

Both financial regulators and market participants need access to high-quality financial data, and regulators can do their part by making certain financial data openly available, the acting leader of the Treasury’s financial research arm said late Tuesday.

Speaking to the RegTech 2023 Data Summit in Washington, D.C., Treasury Office of Financial Research (OFR) Acting Director James Martin said financial regulators need data to assess and monitor risks across the financial system and firms need data to manage risk and to reduce costs.

“The need to access data in a timely way remains paramount, and regulators can continue to do their part, when possible, by making certain financial data openly available,” Martin said.

He said as the financial system changes, new threats and vulnerabilities are ever emerging. “High-quality data that are both accessible and interoperable, conforming to common standards, are crucial to understanding and tracking risks to financial stability, as well as crucial to developing sound policies to mitigate these risks,” he said.

Although OFR offers a variety of data products – aligned with industry standards and available to the public at no charge – Martin admitted a shortcoming: lack of application programming interface (API) for all products.

“Those paying close attention will notice that I said all of our published data are available for download, for free, but that only some are available through an API,” Martin said. “In the spirit of openness, I do acknowledge that even the OFR has places to improve—and expanding API access is a priority.”

Remarks of James Martin, Acting Director of the Office of Financial Research, at the RegTech 2023 Data Summit