As we enter a new year, we can expect regulators to be more stringent in enforcing regulations because the finance industry has gone through a paradigm shift in recent years.
Financial institutions that are not prepared for these changes will find themselves either facing difficulties in ensuring compliance or incurring significant costs in their compliance workflows.
The key to improving compliance management, therefore, is to take what is, for most firms, a time-consuming, complex and largely inefficient process and convert it into something more agile and efficient.
While technology can help financial service providers accomplish this goal, examining processes, standards and controls and taking the necessary steps to optimise them is also critical for continued success in regulatory compliance.
Turn your compliance protocol into a compliance culture
Given the importance of regulatory compliance, it’s worth converting this from a process that ensures that you follow compliance guidelines into a culture that permeates through the company’s structure.
The transition from process to culture can change how your teams view compliance.
Where some organisations struggle to keep up with compliance regulations, finance institutes that have fostered a culture of compliance are more responsive to regulatory updates and can adapt more efficiently.
This is because a compliance culture ensures less friction in compliance operations as employees will have the training to adapt to regulatory norms.
Centralise compliance repositories
In most organisations, regulatory information is dispersed across departments with duplicate files stored in different machines, employee inboxes, server-side files, and forms.
The absence of a centralised data source may lead to several problems, particularly when it comes to information accessibility.
Here, compliance repositories can help you streamline procedures and encourage collaboration between different departments.
Furthermore, converging compliance information into a single spot gives you various advantages. For instance, you can update regulatory requirements easily, conduct audits efficiently, facilitate collaboration and allow management to efficiently monitor compliance efforts.
Compliance repositories also lead to more organised regulatory taxonomies, particularly for organisations operating on an international scale and having to follow different regulatory bodies across different countries.
Improve compliance visibility
A lack of transparency makes it difficult to enforce compliance workflows effectively.
In this situation, compliance teams must maintain regulatory standards without having the necessary insight into organisational operations, which can lead to several problems in the implementation of compliance tasks.
In addition, most compliance reporting is done through manual means, which turns compliance into an inefficient and sometimes error-prone process.
To work around this problem, you must increase transparency across your operations. Here, regulatory intelligence technology can help you take the necessary steps to improve visibility across your organisation.
Document program improvement
Documentation is an integral part of compliance management.
By creating and storing critical information, you can determine whether internal controls comply with regulatory requirements, compliance actions have been updated and audited, and any recommendations made through compliance audits are actioned promptly.
That said, maintaining a comprehensive documentation trail takes time, especially for resource-strapped regulatory teams.
You can work around this problem by creating processes and standards that facilitate automated documentation, which can help with compliance while also streamlining the process.
Develop response procedures and mitigation strategies
With new data threats emerging, devising remediation strategies can help mobilise resources in anticipation of an attack and hopefully mitigate it.
Certain mitigation strategies, including continuous monitoring of your data environment for new threats and measures, will be integral going forward.
This can also lead to better compliance management because you are prepared for an emergency, which boosts confidence from compliance institutions.
Automate routine compliance management
Despite the skills and knowledge of most compliance officers, they are often relegated to mundane, non-value-added compliance tasks, denying your organisation the opportunity to reach your full value and potential.
Automating compliance management tasks with RegTech solutions can take the burden off of your compliance teams, allowing them to shift to a more strategic role, in turn, helping you to make the most of the skills and knowledge of your regulatory team.
Incorporating compliance into financial organisations
As we move into 2022, we expect compliance updates to be more frequent and extensive in scope compared to the past few years.
Hence, businesses that adjust their approach to financial regulation and make it more proactive and agile will be better prepared for future changes and developments. Today, you can do this by leveraging the steps outlined above.