When we look at what was new for Compliance teams in 2017, the answer is – more of the same! New regulations, increased requirements; it can feel as if you’re on an ever-quickening treadmill.

Here we explore some of the issues that made headlines in your world over the last 12 months.

  1. New regulations continue to create challenges

In January, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) predicted an ‘interesting year’ for regulated firms. Few firms would dispute this.

The regulator’s Mission and Business Plan, both released in April, continued the Authority’s well-trodden path of cultural compliance. The FCA’s approach remains a balance between carrot and stick; encouraging firms to embed good governance while enforcing regulation via financial penalties and other means where needed.

New requirements continue apace. In May the FCA released the results of its Suitability Review.

And the Insurance Distribution Directive comes into force in February 2018. In October we reviewed the new requirements and explored how automation can help you to comply.

In November, a speech by the regulator identified what it sees as the current regulatory priorities for retail banks.

Some regulations are so central to Compliance teams’ priorities over the next few months that we look at them in more detail below.

  1. MiFID II is coming

The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive is imminent, and doubtless taking up a lot of your time.

In July we identified the key things you need to know about the impact of MiFID II on financial promotions.

The Directive will see professional client communication classed as financial promotions – we looked at how you can ensure your professional client communications meet the requirements and how a checklist can help you to comply.

Of course, meeting the demands of MiFID II isn’t just down to your team. In November, we explored ways you can help Marketing to comply with the new rules.

And obviously this won’t apply to you…but in September we also looked at what happens to firms who don’t meet the MiFID II deadline.

  1. GDPR is also on the horizon

If the advent of MiFID II wasn’t enough to contend with, you also face the General Data Protection Regulation, coming into force in May next year.

We asked whether you know everything you need to about the new regulation, and in August shared the 10 things you need to know for successful GDPR compliance.

With misinformation still rife on exactly what the new rules entail, our blog in October attempted to sort the myths from the reality.

  1. The SMCR is still making headlines

The Senior Managers and Certification Regime came into force in 2016, and is still a focus for many Compliance teams, as well as the regulator.

In spite of calls in January for it to be dropped for smaller firms, in March it had been in force for twelve months and we looked at the regime one year on.

In July, the FCA announced plans to extend it to apply to almost all regulated firms. With the increased individual accountability it brings, we asked whether the new regime would increase your risk of an FCA fine.

  1. It’s all about how you deliver for clients

Delivering on your promises and making sure you embed compliant approaches are both essential if you want to stay on the right side of the regulator. In February Perivan Technology looked at how you can convert your client care promises into action.

Customer service issues were found to be one of the biggest reasons people contact the FCA when the Authority released its latest data in March, while a survey the same month showed that governance is more important than ever for your reputation.

In April, FCA complaints data identified the most complained about products and issues, and we looked at ways you can avoid being on the list.

  1. Culture remains key

‘Walking the talk’ on client service means entrenching good conduct across all levels of your firm, as the FCA discussed in a speech on good conduct regulation in February. We looked at how lessons from psychology can help you to create a compliant culture.

  1. Technology continues to influence banking strategy

Harnessing new technologies remains a focus for banks – both established firms and start-ups – with innovations like Blockchain creating the potential for totally new approaches.

For regulated firms, though, a balance must be struck between innovation and compliance. In May we shared our tips for compliant innovation, while in June we identified the 5 compliant steps you need to take if you want to innovate.

And the benefits of technology needn’t be confined to delivery mechanisms. Automating your own processes and systems – the Compliance review and approvals process, for instance – can achieve significant efficiencies in terms of cost- and time-savings. In July we explored whether your investment in compliance technology can really pay for itself in terms of the benefits you achieve.

Source: Perivan Technology

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