According to a recent survey by Compliance Week, some compliance teams are finding this time very challenging and vigilance is required now more than ever by the team. During a crisis, employees tend to think that the rules and policies do not apply, increasing the need for monitoring and checks from the compliance staff.
Moreover, government, regulators and businesses are under pressure to provide a quick and agile responses to the crisis. Employees also require this readiness to respond from their employers and management team. Unfortunately, some firms were not as prepared for the current crisis as they should have been, and it is likely that will heavily impact their business and process in the future. The way businesses conduct themselves in the coming months will influence the long-term.
The role of the compliance officer now is to ensure that all employees understand that all the rules still apply. We highlight some points that you must consider.
Health and safety of your team
As most employees have been working from home for a while now, we would like to bring the focus upon mental health of employees. It is a concern among most firms and requires effective HR and a strong team to work through it together.
Employee code of conduct
By this stage you must have re shared with your employees the code of conduct of the firm and have asked them to read through and acknowledge. You could remind employees of all the rules and highlight examples of good conduct and areas that could be considered high-risk for the firm. Make it a valuable reference, helping employees find relevant documents, services and other resources related to ethics within the organization.
Communication is an essential part of the successful crisis management. Do your policies include relevant contact details of senior managers in case they need to be contacted? As everyone is working from home, we have lost the physical contact and the day to day communication. So, keeping all “doors” open for communication is very important during this period.
Increase in cyber risk and fraud
Without doubt, people will try to take advantage of uncertainty and unexpected situations may occur. When employees work remotely, cyber risks may rise. You must ensure your company-confidential, client or other important files are secure and backed up. It needs to be a continuous task for everyone in the company.
A great idea is setting up reminders for the team to double check if files and client information are secure and kept confidentially. IT and Compliance teams should work together to ensure the correct process is being followed to maintain the firm’s integrity.
Regulators around the world want firms to operate as normal as possible in this challenging period and are providing certain flexibility to ensure continuity. Firms are expected to plan ahead and ensure proper management of all activities and operations. This means taking appropriate steps to meet regulations expectations and deadlines.
Compliance teams are duty bound to increase the monitoring of changes and updates published almost daily from regulators. It will ensure that the firm is not compromised in their regular activities and all the measures required are implemented on time.
Documenting and Monitoring the situation
Documenting and monitoring activities in the firm will allow this difficult time to be managed smoothly. The process of documenting and monitoring will ensure compliance teams keep track of the situation across the firm and will provide insights into how to manage future crises.
Above all, the current situation presents an opportunity for businesses to look back and plan ahead. Many companies are acting responsibly with their employees and customers, and this should enable them to manage the crisis effectively.
Technology can help your firm with compliance monitoring, attestation and reporting, if you are looking for a solution, contact MCO today.