If you are a recently FCA authorised firm, you may feel rather relieved in the knowledge that you’re finally ‘over the line’. This feeling will apply whether you’re an IFA, a mortgage, general insurance intermediary or credit broker, amongst others.
Over recent months, you’ve spent days in the Boardroom, your weekends and evenings working on responses to the FCA’s interrogation of your application. And now, it’s all over – PHEW!. . . Or is it?
You may have been so focused on the application and authorisation process during recent months that what you do with ‘compliance’ now that you’re authorised may not have even crossed your mind. If it has, then despite all good intentions, you’re probably desperate to get back to ‘business as usual’ – with a niggling feeling that maybe you should be doing more ‘compliance’ on a day-to-day basis.
Tips for ongoing compliance
To make compliance work for your business, then you may need to take a step back and apply what might be a different approach to your business operation.
Send out a survey to your staff – find out what they like about working for you, what they don’t and why. Find out what kinds of improvements they would make to their own roles if they could – and why. Gather their ideas, their concerns and their observations about what works and what doesn’t – and why.
Take these results, analyse them and take them into your next formal senior management meeting. What do they tell you? Are you running too tight a ship? Do your staff lack direction? Do they like working for you? What are they most worried about?
Think about the FCA’s focus on treating customers fairly – that means your customers AND your staff – is there anything within the staff feedback that makes you sit up and think? Your staff are your most valuable asset, so ask them for their help. They know your customers better than you. They know your processes better than you and they know how to make compliance work within your business, right at the coalface.
Regular ongoing changes to Financial Services regulation time and time again present the same issues for firms to manage. One of these issues is that senior management need to learn how to manage their teams ‘FCA style’ and to engage compliance at the heart of their business operations.
It can be a ‘tough love’ experience to make compliance work on a day to day basis, there may even be initial resistance from some of your team, but once your compliance framework is in place, there’ll be no stopping you! With the right framework your team will drive compliance for you – enjoying the level of structure and control they are able to exert over their own roles, their own results and ultimately the profitability of the business.
If you want to find out more about how to engage your team and your customers and to make your business compliant, give us a call on 01376 514 166. Alternatively, you can email Julie@chameleoncompliance.co.uk.