There are over 50,000 businesses in the UK which fall under FCA regulation. With strict measures in place, firms will undergo for a lengthy application process and need to uphold regulatory standards to be trading and avoid fines and prosecution.
Whether you offer investments, loans, finance, credit or similar, everyone in your firm has to keep within the regulatory guidelines in terms of pricing, transparency and how they treat customers.
But, when you are running a large organisation, there are a lot of employees to keep an eye on – and it only takes one mistake from an employee that could be very costly. So if you are FCA or SMCR regulated, there are a number of things can do to ensure your staff keep up with compliance and regulation.
Make compliance part of the company culture
Being compliant should become part of the company culture and this can be achieved by constantly referring to the business as a regulated entity. You need all staff to think ‘compliance-first’ and have any actions they take with regulatory requirements in mind.
In some places, a company can automate adjust their technology to be compliant, such as telling your computer not to let customers borrow more through credit limits or overdrafts, or using a computer to automate the number of follow up emails you can send for bad debt.
Having signs around the office with regulatory practices, regular emails, training sessions and constant updates from senior staff will be key to create a compliance culture.
Review work of employees
Although on the verge of being too ‘big brother,’ there is a strong argument for monitoring the calls and emails of employees, especially those engaging with customers and other partners.
For brokers who are making deals or for creditors making collections, it is essential to monitor the tone and practices of the staff. If you imagine a large customer call centre, you potentially have hundreds of staff that could make an error, which is not in line with regulation. Hence, having a compliance member of staff to run spot checks and control quality is vital.
Reinforce with regular training
Training staff with a compliance manager is a given and usually part of any orientation or introduction to a new job.
However, compliance training should be executed regularly, whether quarterly or every 6 months. This can be evaluated through oral exams or exams taken online to ensure that staff are up to speed.
Make the consequences known
It may be important to put the ‘fear of god’ into employees and to understand the outcomes if they are not compliant.
This can include losing their job, the company losing its FCA license or being handed a large fine. There are always companies in the industry that fall foul to the regulator and are given similar punishments. When these stories reach the stories, it may be worth sharing these with all staff, just so they understand the severity and consequences of non-compliance.