2020 was an unprecedented year. It catapulted the use of technology and required individuals to adapt to a very different way of working. Of course this was true for all, but especially true for Compliance Officers who needed to adapt ways of working against an unprecedented level of new rules and regulations.

For that reason, automated approaches to risk and compliance saw a rise this year. Automation is the key here, and incorporating advanced rules enhanced by machine learning is becoming a must.

Automation can help firms with resource-intensive tasks such as risk management, identity management, compliance checks, transaction monitoring and regulatory reporting.

We talk to companies all day, everyday about how software can streamline business processes, automate routine tasks, generate arduous reports in seconds and most importantly… improve overall organizational efficiency.

As we navigate the aftermath of a bumper year of expected and unexpected challenges, compliance officers continue to play a crucial role in maintaining organisational stability. With a few months of 2021 under our belts – covering everything from early post-Brexit life to a new US administration and Covid vaccination roll-outs – firms are looking to both learn from the past year and prepare for any future changes.

The following are core issues compliance officers will have to address – some in new and unprecedented ways – in 2021.

Business Continuity

The Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated that, if required, firms can adapt at pace to unprecedented crises and demands. Firms have also been tested by down-to-the-wire Brexit talks which generated much uncertainty about potential future outcomes for business and trade. All of this has reinforced how crucial business continuity plans are. While compliance officers cannot predict the future, they must work with their organisations and with financial regulators, stress testing and scenario planning to prepare for multiple eventualities.

Regulatory Change

Regulatory change is commonplace in financial services and – despite the upheavals of the past year – this is unlikely to slow down any time soon. With national and international policy changes, a continually evolving global pandemic, and ongoing industry developments like the rise of amateur and meme investors, there is much for regulators to respond to. As such, compliance and risk officers have multiple avenues to keep an eye on.

Compliance Optimisation

Considering the myriad challenges facing compliance officers, investing appropriately into skills development and digital resources is more important than ever. Reuters’s 2020 Cost of Compliance report identified the following as the top three skills needed by an ideal compliance officer:

    1. Subject matter expertise
    2. Communication skills
    3. Integrity

Staying ahead of the curve is a business necessity. Investment in continuous professional development (CPD) for compliance officers and their teams is also crucial so they have the right skills to meet new and existing challenges.

Digital investment is an additional means to help compliance teams juggle the multiple demands placed upon them. Regulatory technology (RegTech) is being increasingly relied upon by compliance professionals to efficiently address their roles and responsibilities, be it managing workflows for remote or hybrid teams to demonstrating compliance to regulators. Solutions such as ComplyPortal, which was developed by compliance officers with compliance officers in mind, give teams the freedom to work anywhere with agility, efficiency, accuracy, and access to comprehensive support in order to juggle the competing demands that modern compliance brings.

For more on the key challenges facing compliance officers this year – and how to tackle them – register for ComplyPortal’s webinar Driving the Rise of Modern Compliance by clicking here.

About ComplyPortal – Compliance software since 2011:

First developed in 2011 by compliance professionals for compliance officers, ComplyPortal offers workflow, automation, and several modules to help firms with control and regulatory compliance monitoring.

ComplyPortal simplifies financial services regulatory compliance management on an easy-to-use cloud-based comprehensive compliance platform. It enables compliance officers, risk officers and senior management to keep track of their firm’s regulatory responsibilities and workflows. Our platform includes the following modules, among others:

  • Monitoring: a year-round schedule pre-populated with monitoring questionnaires to ease compliance processes.
  • Registers: lists controlled by the Compliance officer, but easy for staff to view.
  • Risk: map and control risk areas to effectively identify and manage risk for your firm.
  • eKYC system: perform comprehensive searches, including client identity verification, document authenticity, and more for a comprehensive KYC and AML approach