6 reasons why compliance matters: key risks facing organisations

Compliance professionals are facing an expanding universe of responsibilities, with the number of initiatives, rules, laws, and guidelines issued by regulators accelerating at an unprecedented pace.

The biggest challenges perceived by nearly three in five (59%) organisations lie in keeping up with these changes, while simultaneously managing the increased cost of compliance.

Protecting customers, data and the business is at the forefront of every organisation’s agenda, so it’s easy to see why the following are the six most-searched topics by compliance professionals across our gobal network.

Information security and cyber risk

There has never been a time in history where information security and cyber risk resilience has been more important, with cyber fraud and scams occurring daily.

Criminal groups are constantly finding new ways to infiltrate systems and steal information, and this threat environment has been heightened by ongoing digitalisation and the increased use of laptops and phones to conduct business.

Recognising the warning signs and understanding the emerging issues and pitfalls in these areas are key to protecting your firm.

Anti-money laundering (AML) and financial crime

Money laundering is big business and it is one tactic that criminals use to fund organised crime, modern slavery or even forced labour.

With billions of dollars in fines being dished out by regulators internationally for AML failures, organisations need to stay ahead of the curve more than ever before.

Educating your employees around the process of money laundering, the ownership of illegal cash and the laws that make it a crime, are the most practical ways to equip your staff with the knowledge they need to effectively mitigate the risks.

Environment, social and governance (ESG)

As ESG, environmental challenges and regulatory action continues to grow, it’s certain to fundamentally change organisations in business development, risk management and culture over the next decade.

Hot topics such as climate change management, workplace diversity and improved structures for investors and boards will lead the way.

Whether you’re strategising your organisation’s ESG roadmap or planning to influence your service supply chain, it’s important to get clear on the issues of this generation.

Code of conduct

This is essentially a set of rules and standards designed to make every workplace safe, and many issues arise because of the lack of understanding around code of conduct obligations and the impact it can have on an organisation.

Breaches reflect on culture and can be detrimental not only to the individual but can affect your organisation’s reputation for many years.

Conflicts of interest

There is a need for organisations to review current practices and potential conflicts in the context of greater regulatory scrutiny. Conflicts of interest occur when a financial service provider misuses or conceals information, leading to decreased transparency of information flow.

Recognising conflicts of interest is key, particularly with regard to personal, financial and family interests, dealing with customers and suppliers, and handling offers of gifts and entertainment.

Anti-bribery & anti-corruption

Regulators are increasingly clamping down on all forms of bribery, and organisations must now be concerned not only with the laws of the country in which they work, but also additional international laws which may apply to them. It is critical for employees to be educated on recognising red flags and mitigating associated risks.

Top 6 most searched compliance topics 

We take a look at the top 6 compliance learning courses that organisations should have in their arsenal to safeguard against risk, penalties or reputational damage.

Why invest in compliance learning?

Most of the largest regulatory fines resulted from staff, senior management or Boards of Directors failing to act and not taking the time to understand compliance issues affecting their organisation.

Fostering a culture of compliance within your organisation is an obvious way to avoid penalties and reduce costs. Your staff can add more value to your organisation and improve their skill sets by understanding the most pressing compliance areas.

Niall is a senior regulatory intelligence expert, Asia Pacific.  He joined Thomson Reuters in 2013 from FTI Consulting, where he was managing director for investigations in Australia.  Prior to that, he was was a senior specialist advisory for the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and the director of enforcement for the Dubai Financial Service Authority (DFSA).

Niall is a Barrister of the High Court of Australia and has over twenty years experience in financial markets and international regulation. In 2002, he was awarded an ASIC Australia Day Honour Medal for his work in corporate investigations.  He has written a book on corporate investigations published by Thomson Reuters and has been a commentator in the Australian Financial Review and television on financial crime, regulation and compliance.

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