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As part of ongoing engagement with financial services regulators and customers, I had the opportunity to attend a Cloud Technology Summit sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The conference assembled leaders within the U.S. Federal Reserve System; technology providers; senior risk, compliance and CTOs from major banks; and other key industry participants to discuss trends and issues concerning the use of cloud computing.

This was the first time a major U.S. regulator brought all these key parties together to examine this topic and help advance mutual understanding of how to ensure the safety and soundness of the financial system, while at the same time exploring opportunities to advance innovation and digital transformation in the industry.

At Microsoft, we enable financial institutions to move to the cloud. One key learning we’ve had is that industry dialogue, shared learnings, and perspectives are critical in helping to create a common understanding between regulators and financial institutions, ensuring regulatory requirements and expectations are met. Through such a virtuous feedback loop—amongst technology providers, customers, and regulators—we think the financial services industry can develop the learnings required to build mature cloud models and governance to manage risk appropriately. Further, such dialogue can help modernize approaches not just within financial institutions, but regulatory guidance as well.

By way of example, we were fortunate to hear such perspectives and have a dialogue with Joshua Silveous, a large bank advanced examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Mr. Silveous’ perspective is particularly instructive:

“We believe in sharing and collaborating ideas and perspectives through venues, such as the Cloud Computing Summit. From the positive feedback we’ve heard from attendees, we are looking for more opportunities to open up lines of communication between all parties to help one another succeed from lessons learned, best practices, and regulatory concerns.”

Hearing from industry participants and the challenges they face are equally important. Through those learnings, we can find opportunities to bridge potential gaps and further enhance our approaches to meet the needs of the industry and regulators alike. Thus, it was great to engage with technology leaders in banking to share perspectives as well.

The dialogue, however, must be continuous, as new issues and developments occur going forward. Whether it is addressing greater use of cloud computing for core banking scenarios or the increased interest in sustainable finance, one thing is constant: we can learn a lot from each other to help maintain and improve the safety and soundness of the financial ecosystem. Our work is not done, and we are committed to supporting the industry going forward.

For more on security, privacy and compliance at Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Trust Center.