There’s a lot of talk about automation in compliance.
Automation of reporting, automation of marketing and financial promotions production, automation of approvals.
But what are the real benefits of automation for Compliance teams? Can automating your processes really deliver the efficiencies and cost savings they promise? We investigate.
The biggest challenges facing Compliance teams
The pace of life for Compliance professionals, and the range of challenges you face, has probably never been greater. Increasing regulatory pressure, alongside a growing spotlight on breaches, put compliance in the frame like never before.
The challenges you face include:
- Pressure to produce a growing range of financial promotions to increasingly tight deadlines
- A regulator that is getting touch on transgressions, with misleading promotions in the public eye following recent FCA actions
- An ever-increasing number of channels and platforms to keep an eye on – with your website, email marketing and social media all falling under the FCA’s financial promotion rules
- The need to review and approve promotions in an efficient way, minimising duplication and rework – but in a way that meets FCA standards
In an environment that is seeing a surge in consumer complaints about financial services, Compliance teams are under mounting pressure.
New regulations like MiFID II and GDPR add to your workload, while the ever-increasing demand for marketing content means that the number of promotions you need to review and approve is growing exponentially.
How could automation help?
When we look at the benefits of automation, they fall into a number of areas.
First, there are the efficiency gains. Automated solutions can:
- Reduce duplication by ensuring a more joined-up approach between you, your Marketing and your Sales teams – saving you time and the associated hidden costs
- Improve your Compliance team review and approvals process
- Cut the time taken to approve financial promotions, enabling you to produce marketing materials faster
- Provide management information that enables you to refine your approach and remove inefficiencies
- Minimise administration and reduce the compliance paper mountain
They make your regulatory compliance more robust, with watertight processes and mandated Compliance team sign-off:
- An automated workflow system can prevent financial promotions from being published until the appropriate person has signed off
- An online slide library can store and watermark approved content, stopping unapproved materials being released
- Automation can create a compliant audit trail that ensures you meet the FCA requirements on record keeping, saving time on remedial work or the preparation needed for an FCA visit
- The correct risk warnings, disclosures and disclaimers are added as a matter of course, displayed with requisite prominence
Automation also delivers cost benefits; it can be argued that compliance technology could pay for itself in terms of the savings made:
- Automated workflows deliver high levels of security that reduce the potential for regulatory breaches and the associated penalties
- The time saved in producing, reviewing and approving financial promotions can lead to significant direct and indirect cost savings
Brand compliance can be as much of a challenge for Compliance teams as regulatory or technical issues. Automation can prevent the need for brand-focused edits by:
- Providing branded templates for documents – no more stretched logos or out-of-date barters
- Enabling easier briefing and collaboration with external agencies, so promotions are ‘right first time’
So we want to explore automation – what next?
It’s clear that introducing technology to some or all of your processes has the potential to deliver significant cost savings, efficiencies and regulatory compliance improvements.