The world of financial compliance is wide-reaching and contains many different assets. Those who work in finance need to be critically aware of compliance, whether they are their organisation’s compliance officer or not. Here are five heavily regulated areas that need to be addressed with financial compliance.
As our world becomes ever more digital, it is vital that financial firms can protect their data correctly. More and more vital documents with sensitive data are being digitised. This can leave a firm open to leaks and other issues if they do not take care to properly protect their data.
There is plenty of guidance regarding how to correctly encrypt and protect data nowadays. It is vital that firms take the time to establish a robust set of practices when it comes to protecting sensitive data. This is one area of compliance that is constantly evolving along with the digital space. While some other regulations in this area have been part of the financial trade for many years, this is one that will need to be updated as new regulations come into practice.
Every business has to be able to declare their earnings and where they come from. There are so many practices out there that a company needs to ensure that they are properly declaring. Even an innocent omission can cause a lot of trouble for a business further down. Accounts need to be correctly recorded, whether the expense is just for a few pence or for a sizeable part of a firm’s quarterly revenue.
Many financial firms will also have to submit records of their earning to a regulatory body as part of financial compliance. These should be full records that will detail the provenance of all payments to the business, and how the company itself has been spending its revenue. A compliance officer in a company will work closely with the accounts department to ensure that all records are made to comply with guidance from bodies like the FCA, and will prepare and submit reports to these companies when required.
There are many illegal operations that a company could find themselves caught up in, even unintentionally. One of the biggest that a financial company can get themselves caught up in is that of money laundering. Others can include corruption and other financial crimes such as fraud, all the way up to terrorism or terrorist financing.
A good compliance strategy is key to ensuring that the firm is not working with any organisation that might facilitate such actions. A compliance officer should work to ensure that anti-money laundering and know your customer protocols are in place at every layer of the business. Stringent checks, and knowing where to turn to report businesses that could be involved with these illegal operations, will be incredibly necessary.
In the world of finance, reputation is everything. With a good level of compliance, a firm will be able to ensure that their reputation is properly maintained. Being targeted with fines and other regulatory action is never good, and will have a knock-on effect in terms of partners that wish to work with the firms and their standing in the industry. Recovering from such measures can be difficult for a firm to do, as some of the trust that they have created has fundamentally been lost.
Regulations are vital here as they tell the firm exactly how they can act. By maintaining compliance and ensuring that they are not straying away from what is expected of them as a brand, companies will be able to defend their reputation as they require.
A compliance officer cannot be the only one within an organisation who is expected to maintain compliance. It is the responsibility of everyone within the company to ensure that rules and regulations are properly adhered to.
Training can take a while to implement throughout an organisation, and it is not concrete. As regulations update, it will be necessary to retrain employees to ensure that they have a full understanding of what is expected of them. If compliance is maintained at every level of the business, there is more of a chance that a company will not run into issues with regulatory bodies.
These are five key regulations and areas of compliance that firms need to ensure that they adhere to. Compliance is not something firms can just opt out of. Regardless of the nature of the business or the area of finance that they work in, it is vital that firms can meet and exceed regulatory standards and expectations. Compliance is one of the most important aspects of the financial industry. Firms need to do all they can to ensure that they are conducting their business in the safest of manners.