Top five compliance trends
Thomson Reuters has published Top 5 Compliance Trends Around the Globe in 2016, which shows that promoting a culture of integrity; keeping pace with intensified regulator attention and reach; monitoring third-party risk; encouraging whistleblower activity; and increased investment in compliance operations are the focus of businesses around the world.
The report also sets out steps that firms can take in building strength in these areas. In terms of promoting a culture of integrity, tone from the top remains important, but education and assessment also need to be built into compliance and ethics programs.
With regulator attention and reach increasing, businesses know they need to keep pace with a changing regulatory landscape. Compliance systems need to be able to monitor multiple regulatory sources and update the firm of any regulatory changes that are relevant to it. The compliance systems also need to incorporate communication strategies so that all employees become aware of developments and to ensure new regulations are incorporated into existing compliance programs.
A firm needs to develop policies and procedures to put in place a comprehensive framework for the management of third-parties. The controls that are put in place to detect risks need to be monitored and evaluated, and training and education are also essential. Regular reports and review should be implemented, and disciplinary action needs to be timely.
Implementing an independent reporting and management system, such as an external helpline, can assist in encouraging whistleblower activity, as can training for all staff. Current initiatives need to be reviewed, to ensure that employees feel comfortable about speaking up.
Boards are willing to spend more to hire skilled and knowledgeable staff, and so increased investment in compliance operations is seen to be largely due to the cost of senior compliance professionals.