Compliance and Regulatory Alerts - 04-01-20
Five Supervision, Control and Compliance Items You Should be Considering Now
Compliance is challenging to begin with, but in this new landscape, it is an even greater stretch for compliance teams to manage company-wide systems while working remotely. Here are five items you should be thinking about when addressing supervision and control functions.
1) Mind the Deadlines: It can seem like regulatory compliance deadlines are changing daily. Extensions may be granted, but in many cases, there are caveats that must be followed to avoid being in violation. Make sure to read all regulatory releases closely, because the devil is in the details. See for example the SEC’s Form ADV filing extension and deadlines – amended and extended again…a second time within a week!
2) Focus on What The Regulators Are Saying: We all know that when the Regulators say something is a “priority” – it really is. Regulators are urging firms to focus on transaction and personnel supervision, to review supervisory control policies and procedures under their Business Continuity Plans, to ensure effective communications with customers, and to support customer access to funds and securities. Heed this call to action. Regulators are also inquiring about firms’ Business Continuity Plans. Expect them to inquire about it on your next exam cycle.
3) Remote Working and Supervisory Controls: With the current volumes and financial services firms directing their employees to work remotely, supervision and control, and compliance systems may be strained, causing gaps in back office and branch supervision, and exposing vulnerabilities. Now is the time to identify those gaps and ensure that proper sales practices are in place to avoid exposure. Draw up lists and consider what is working and what is not, what can be patched for now, and what cannot wait, as well as long-term issues to address.
4) Write Down What Worked: Pat yourself on the back for executing your business continuity plan. Take the time now to document the lessons learned. Regulators are going to ask you what worked and what did not work. Please do yourself a favor and write these down now to capture all of your team’s work.
5) Stay Calm: While we are all doing our best to adjust to the current reality, tensions and stress are still running high. Just remember, we made it through the dotcom crash, the 2008 credit crisis, and many other significant market and economic downturns. We are going to make it through this one, too.
Do you need some extra assistance? Bates Can Help. Our experienced former branch office manager, admin manager, and operations manager consultants are available to assist your firm to ensure that supervisory controls and proper compliance practices are in place and are being implemented on a timely basis, and that proper sales practices are adhered to. Our consultants have successfully handled day-to-day supervisory and compliance functions as well as business interruptions, reducing risk and exposure for firms.
Robert Lavigne - Managing Director, Compliance Practice Leader
Rory P. O'Connor - Director, Bates Compliance