Implementing better compliance programs

One of the biggest challenges facing firms today is how to implement new compliance programs without interrupting normal business functions. As investment in the sector increases, many are looking for ways to measure returns to make sure that compliance efforts are meeting regulatory requirements and enhancing business functions.

While it can be challenging to measure ROI on compliance, new technologies and analytics can help officers demonstrate the importance of increasing transparency and offer valuable insights into how businesses are running, said Vincent Walden, partner at Ernst & Young, and the Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services

In this third of three series on compliance, panelists discuss the challenges of valuing compliance efforts and the ways firms can help quantify their investments.

Integrate compliance systems

Implementing consistent analytics systems can be a boon for many financial services firms after a legacy of swivel-chair compliance, where an officer performs each task of their workflow on disparate systems that don’t talk to each other. By integrating programs that monitor various parts of the business, compliance officers can more readily identify outliers and other issues, said Harald Collet, global head of Bloomberg Vault.

But in order to get the most benefit out of technology, compliance staff must understand the underlying businesses and ask the right questions when issues arise, said Gary Stone, chief strategy officer at Bloomberg Trading Solutions. By asking better questions, compliance can use technology solutions to not only eliminate manual controls, but also to integrate approaches that help the business work more efficiently.

Outliers

As officers scramble to quickly comply and allocate resources against numerous projects, they’re also working to make sure that they are in-line with the rest of the industry. Compliance isn’t an area where firms want to stand out, said Stone. Regulators also seem to like this approach since they can easily compare information across firms. If issues arise or changes are necessary, they can work with one vendor to implement new procedures or standards that have a broader reach, Stone said.

The strategy for many is to be best of breed and produce repeatable solutions across the industry, which can be a challenge for vendors, Collet said. Working together, regulators, firms and vendors are raising the standards to make the industry more transparent and protect investors.

We convened the experts appearing in this round table video series to share insights and knowledge about regulation and transparency. The views and opinions expressed by these participants are their own and not necessarily representative of Bloomberg LP. The participants appearance in these round tables is not an endorsement of their employer and/or the products or services they offer.

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