Like many industries, technology has completely transformed the financial services industry. The explosion of FinTech is an already widely discussed topic, and one that I do not wish to exhaust here. However, what is interesting is how this new breed is being serviced in terms of their compliance needs – and yes, this can be interesting!
Ever since the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) was introduced just over 20 years ago, the UK financial services industry has been subject to a barrage of new regulations that have transformed the idea of what “compliance” is and how to deal with it. Whatever the view of this red tape is and it’s effects on the sector, it is without doubt here to stay for the foreseeable future. This means firms – including start-ups – need to find the most cost effective way of dealing with their compliance requirements.
Prone to criticism for being a drain on a firms resources, hindering growth, and full of time consuming manual processes – the compliance departments of the times aren’t exactly the most liked department in the financial services industry. This is because being a compliance officer (especially an external consultant) is a bit like telling stakeholders that their kids are ugly – on a daily basis (sorry it is our job).
From experience, it is common for FinTech companies to be absolutely obsessed with automation – and I’m not surprised as the benefits can be plentiful. But (and this is a big but), the reason compliance can continue to be so painful for these companies is due to the simple underlying truth: compliance can never really be automated. Yes, there will be some some things that are black and white, but that isn’t always the case. You see, compliance is akin to legal advice, in that, issues are frequently derived from unique situations that cannot be replicated – and subsequently requires a professional opinion.
The FCA, unlike its predecessor the FSA, actively discourages a ‘tick box’ based approach to compliance. There are new initiatives and concepts that are much more complex which require a discourse for resolution. Compliance is no longer a tick box exercise – the expectation for the future is that compliance is embedded deep into a companies culture and systems.
As a compliance consultancy servicing many FinTech’s operating in the industry, we feel the way compliance services are delivered could do with a revamp. The days of sending an email about that new regulation and waiting days for a response from a compliance professional is over (well, it should be anyway). That’s why we have adopted Notion.so into how we deliver our services.
Put simply, Notion acts as a shared workspace for all things compliance. The goal is to automate as much as possible, and where this isn’t possible, make it as easy as possible.
Notion enables us to work in a much more efficient manner with our clients. We can create an instant feed for current and existing regulatory updates that are applicable to you, and set automatic reminders for your next required audit or AML training, for example. It also acts as a hub for all your queries, policies, procedures, manuals and general scary compliance thoughts (it helps to write them down).
All this and more, tracked and stored in one workspace, creating an audit trail that ensures your business and clients are protected.
Compliance can be a stressful experience, and due to the nature of taking a ride on the rollercoaster that is building a FinTech company, we like to take some of that stress away. If we help you sleep better at night, well that’s what Compliance Made Simple feels like.
Joe holds a Level 6 Diploma in Investment Compliance having spent over 2 years consulting for a variety of financial services firms at FinTech Compliance. Prior to joining the team, Joe was involved in a number of business projects advising on marketing and sales, but advanced into compliance to pursue a more exciting and challenging career in FinTech. Joe has expertise in a number of sectors including Insurance, Consumer Credit, and Payment Services, as well as obtaining membership for the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.
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