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20/20 Vision in financial services compliance

19 February 2020 Richard Rattue, Managing Director at Compli-Serve SA
Richard Rattue, Managing Director at Compli-Serve SA

Richard Rattue, Managing Director at Compli-Serve SA

As with each new year, there are a new set of compliance tips to see you through the year ahead. Being 2020 inspires me to focus on 20/20 vision, considering all the aspects of your FSP practice and ensuring you keep compliance, risk and governance near to top of mind.

1. Touch base on tech (today, tomorrow, and two weeks from now…)
No need to block out your diary but keeping an ear to the ground on how Fintech, Regtech and Suptech are shaping financial services, should be a regular checkpoint. Failing to adapt could mean falling behind. The marketplace is evolving to “digital first”, and financial services is no exception. For example, we’re waiting for more formalised cryptocurrency regulation to come in, but digital currency development has outpaced the rules needed around it. Keep pace with how tech develops to stay on top of what your business may need to do to transition and thrive.

2. Spring clean your data
Ensure that you are following the POPI Act, even though we are still waiting for it to be enacted. Treating your customers’ data correctly is essential. Data is considered as the oil of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), which makes striking oil promising, but you need to follow the rules.

3. Get your cybersecurity up to scratch
As technology advances, so do cyber criminals. Your office printer is even at risk if you don’t clear the data on it (yes, every scan or print out is kept on the memory of most machines). From a security perspective, this is a recipe for a possible data breach. Be clean and safe when upgrading office appliances and interacting online, insisting on properly removing or storing private data.

4. RDR – the sleeping giant wakes
The FSCA published some important papers re the RDR for comment by end March 2020. We are now at a stage where a much clearer picture of the RDR is taking shape. It is very important for all industry stakeholders to stay abreast of developments in the RDR space.

5. ‘C’ is for client conduct
Statistics on complaints in the industry are mostly from clients who feel unloved. This is not a romantic mistype; it’s essential to touch base with your clients, giving them the proper attention that they need to feel supported – as well as to advise them sufficiently. Also keep Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) practices in mind, particularly to keep FIC fit on the journey.

6. Manage your market
Market Conduct Risk is crucial to grasp. Any risk management plan in the new year should include this up front. Management Information (MI) enables you to reach TCF outcomes. Interpreting data at the right level, so it can be used to better the customer experience is an example of how your thinking should be.

7. COFI cometh
The draft COFI Bill released by Treasury is in internal regulatory comment stage. Watch this space as the FSCA knocks down the current silos as we know them; but it’s for the best.

8. Lighten up
The economy is tough and there is a lot of pressure due to negative market sentiment for advisers to manage client expectations. Try to find time to have some fun, or risk experiencing the opposite effect.

Don’t let hindsight be 20/20; take on 2020 with a positive attitude and consistently keep your compliance in check. Of course, working with a qualified and competent compliance officer is always recommended.

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