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How to Use Text-Based Financial Data APIs

June 21, 2024 (4 min read)
Financial data API sets and third party datasets can help mitigate financial services risk

In 2021, McKinsey, in collaboration with the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA), conducted a survey on resilience behavior and organizational management. Noting a “striking difference between corporates and financial services organizations, the research revealed a much higher percentage of staff allocated to risk and compliance within financial services than corporate entities.

The reason? The financial services industry remains one of the most highly regulated in the world. With so much pressure to establish efficient, cost-effective risk management processes, third-party financial data APIs offer an ideal opportunity to accelerate risk awareness. In this article, we outline the role of big data in financial risk management and why text-based data helps your overall big picture. 

The role for financial data APIs in financial risk management

Since financial services organizations are ahead of the curve in terms of robust risk management processes, the challenge lies in optimizing these processes further to keep pace with both the volume of work needed and the changing risk landscape over time. McKinsey notes that 75% of risk managers say future resilience depends on improving the risk culture, adding, “Important additional areas are improved risk-data aggregation and reporting and more advanced foresight capabilities.”  

A flexible, third-party data API can help risk professionals in financial services achieve these goals.

Enhance visibility into current potential regulatory risks with text-based data

A flexible data API that deliver key regulatory data, such as sanctions lists and politically exposed persons lists, enable you to integrate timely information into your risk management workflow. Particularly during times of heightened geo-political upheaval, such as the war in Ukraine, maintaining a keen eye on changes in sanctions and PEPs is crucial to avoid inadvertent risk exposure. APIs that deliver data directly into risk assessment, due diligence, and other third party risk management tools help mitigate exposure to financial crime or bribery and corruption risk posed by sanctioned individuals or entities.

You can also gain the foresight needed using historical and current regulatory news and legal data. For instance, you can analyze settlement announcements or litigation over time within a particular industry or for a particular entity to understand if it poses a higher investment risk. You can also look for adverse findings related to companies you’re considering doing business with. 

MOREHow to use big data in finance

Integrate adverse media feeds in risk workflows to identify emerging threats

Most regulators recommend incorporating adverse media screening of third parties as part of a risk-based approach. So do industry associations, like the Wolfsberg Group—an association of 13 global banks. The organizations’ FAQs on Negative News Screening highlights benefits of adverse media screening, including:

  • Revealing involvement in criminal activity which warrants additional due diligence or targeted reviews of past transactions to determine if you should “onboard, maintain or exit a relationship” with an individual or entity.
  • Establishing the risk classification of a relationship to determine whether ongoing risk monitoring is needed.
  • Providing additional context for investigations into suspicious activities or enhanced due diligence.

The Wolfsberg Group suggests that adverse media is a “… useful screening mechanism which enables Financial Institutions to have a better understanding of who they are doing business with and the risks to which an Financial Institution is exposed.”

MORE: Financial crime is on the rise: Here's how to stay a step ahead

Stay on top of risks and opportunities associated with ESG data

As the world began to emerge from the worst of the pandemic, global consultancy EY wrote, “The world has an opportunity to reset and build an improved economic system that works for both people and the planet, and no sector is better placed to drive this transition to sustainability and a stable future than the finance sector itself.” The Financial Services sector can really benefit by using text-based data, like ESG news and ratings, to mitigate risk and identify opportunities.

On the risk side of the equation, automated monitoring of news articles and other text-based content related to ESG factors can reveal potential ESG risks that may impact a company’s financial performance.

In addition, you can use natural language processing to conduct sentiment analysis of ESG news. This can help you understand how a potential investment target or business partner is perceived by stakeholders and the public, allowing you to make informed decisions to reduce reputational risk exposure.

Impact analysis of text-based ESG news data can also give you a leg up when it comes to investment insights. By monitoring ESG news and ratings data, you can track how a company’s ESG performance over time impacts financial performance, enabling to you make smart buy-sell decisions and create ESG-focused products to meet emerging demand.

Get started with text-based financial data APIs

A wide variety of data is necessary for a successful business strategy. This goes beyond basic numbers to include news and text-based data to give context to the numbers. If you're not sure where to start, talk with a Nexis Data+ specialist to find out how our enriched data can enhance your risk management and overall business success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of data is used in finance?

Financial institutions and professionals rely on a variety of data types including market data (stock prices, exchange rates, etc.), economic data (GDP, inflation, etc.), company fundamentals (financials, SEC filings, etc.), news and research reports, and customer data. Both structured and unstructured data from internal and external sources are utilized.

What are APIs in finance?

APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) in finance enable different software systems and applications to communicate and share data with each other. Financial APIs allow banks, fintechs, and other firms to integrate with each other's systems to access things like account data, execute trades, process payments, and deliver new digital services and products to customers.