Forging a path to reduce compliance costs

It’s no surprise that the Beneficial Ownership Register requirement is a top priority for many regulated businesses. Some are struggling with identifying exactly what is required from them and everyone is concerned with how it will impact their bottom line. SILO Compliance recently hosted a Senior Management Breakfast that covered this topic in the Cayman Islands. We were pleased that, after the event, many of the attendees expressed to us that their anxieties and concerns had been addressed and several were able to relax knowing their business was not going to be greatly impacted.

The following week, SILO Compliance representatives attended the STEP Caribbean Conference. Again, general anxiety and concern was expressed as many of the presentations covered the growing complexity of compliance – data protection, beneficial ownership, FATCA, CRS, AML – and the increasing cost.

In most small regulated businesses, one person is often assigned the role of compliance officer – often in addition to other revenue generating responsibilities. That one person must collaborate with all of their peers – corporate staff, lawyers, accountants, investment managers, trustees, even the billing department – and understand all of the transactions being undertaken. Most importantly, they must find work flow efficiencies so that as the organization grows creating new products and services and accepting new clients, compliance costs do not increase exponentially.

For this reason, your choice of compliance manager is critical as is understanding their needs and providing the right support and tools. This is not just for their individual success – but your company's success. The right person in the compliance role will know how to protect you and your business from regulatory fines and reputational damage – and from increasing compliance costs.

So the next time you look at the wave of complex compliance regulations as they begin to be enforced (and these waves keep coming), ask what tools and support you can provide your compliance manager to meet the increasing demands of their role. Too many regulated businesses are throwing away money by hiring additional staff to process compliance – and we all know hiring is not necessarily the most efficient use of resources.

Perhaps instead, send your existing compliance manager to a regulatory professional for the advice so they get a fuller understanding of the various exemptions that can be applied by your business to these regulations. Additionally, spend an hour with your compliance manager to assess their work flow process – it could be they are trying to use outdated systems which is taking too much time to onboard new clients and keep track of existing clients. Additionally, sit down as a team and analyse the entire process of onboarding and servicing clients – sometimes it’s not the compliance function that is the bottleneck to growth or increasing your costs but another function entirely.

One thing was clear after the SILO hosted Senior Management Breakfast and the STEP Caribbean Conference – compliance regulations are not going away, they have teeth and enforcement is around the corner. However, there are many regulated businesses – small and large – that are ready. They’re ready to comply and ready to grow. Are you?

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