Regulatory visits: Are you ready?
3 March 2023
Benjamin Franklin coined the famous phrase, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” and this couldn’t ring truer when it comes to regulatory visits. Regulators have noticeably stepped up their enforcement role in recent years, which has led to heavy fines for those coming under scrutiny and reputational damage that can be hard to recover from. The most important advice we give our clients is to invest in the time and expertise it takes to ensure a robust framework is in place. By undertaking a few simple steps, every member of the organisation can feel confident that regulatory obligations are being met.
Bring in an advisor
Compliance specialists provide extensive knowledge and expertise in all major areas. Whether you need extra help or more comprehensive support, bringing in compliance expertise will allow your team to focus on business as usual while your compliance is being taken care of. These specialists can deliver objective advice and recommendations, from assisting and evaluating current compliance policies to providing team training where needed. Beyond preparing for the regulatory visit, they can also help with compliance monitoring planning, setting up programmes that can be reviewed on a regular basis.
Undertake a health check
Keeping up with the ever more stringent AML and CFT measures and obligations can be a challenge, which is why a health check can identify where improvements are urgently needed. The best advisors will review and monitor your current business policies, procedures and processes against current regulations and industry best practice. Detailed reporting will provide guidance on any remedial work you need to perform before the visit, to ensure you’re operating in line with international standards, and a framework to guide your operations.
Upscale as needed
Meeting regulatory measures can be stressful, expensive and time-consuming, so bringing in professional expertise can deliver real value to your business. The best specialists can integrate with your team, either on a short-term or more extended basis, for both proactive or reactive project support. Acting as an extension to your business, these specialists can also review your current compliance processes and provide guidance and consultancy on changes to meet industry best practice.
Prepare the Board
Every regulator wants to see that senior management is taking responsibility for compliance, so it’s vital to ensure that every member of the Board has an equal voice. Knowledge is critical to ensuring that Board members are confident in making the best impression so strategy and communication are crucial. While the interview process can be stressful, it’s also an opportunity to promote how well you run your business, from the top down. Compliance specialists can provide tips and techniques on how to prepare for these interviews, or undertake a mock visit that will help everyone feel fully prepared and confident.
While a regulatory visit may feel daunting, with the right amount of preparation, a successful one can have a lasting and positive impact, assuring stakeholders and employees of the quality of the organisation’s operational standards.
Redwood Group is a leading Channel Islands compliance and governance specialist working with clients across Guernsey and Jersey www.redwoodgrouplimited.com.
Most organisations view regulatory visits with a sense of trepidation. It’s perfectly understandable; any compliance failings can have huge implications for both the business’ reputation and that of the jurisdiction in which it operates. The good news is that by taking a proactive approach and preparing in advance, organisations can feel confident that they are in the best shape when the regulator comes knocking. James Wood, Chief Executive at Redwood Group, provides some advice on preparing for a regulatory visit.