The Essential Role of Compliance Officers Today
Compliance is one of the most important and pressure-packed departments in financial institutions today. Whether you're a compliance professional or simply work with one, it's essential to understand the new reality of the role - and the key traits a successful compliance officer needs to posess.As the cost of compliance rises and regulatory pressure mounts, the compliance conscience of a financial institution becomes increasingly important. While financial institutions evolve to respond to these factors, the compliance officer's job evolves as well.
In addition to the practical challenges associated with the role, today's compliance officers are equal parts soothsayer, counselor, sage, and enforcer.
A recent article by Joe Adler in the American Banker magazine titled “Is Dodd-Frank Undercut by Missed Regulatory Deadlines?” got me to thinking about how difficult the job of being a bank compliance officer has become today.
Adler points out that it is the lawmakers’ ambition to complete 170 new laws by July of this year. Really … 170 new laws by July? Does anyone in Washington really believe this is possible?
Compliance professionals know that July is simply an unrealistic deadline for completing the new rules. The article goes on to quote several experts as saying that the goals for adoption are totally impracticable and that extensions are inevitable.
If this is the case, then the banking community, and more specifically compliance officers, finds themselves in that oft visited, nerve-wracking position, of “hurry up and wait.”
Everyone in compliance knows with certainty that things are going to change. The questions are: By how much? In what ways? And what will the new requirements mean to me and my bank?
Of course, any compliance officer worth their salt can’t just wait and see what happens or it will be too late to make the necessary changes to policy, process, reporting, and training.
Compliance professionals are paid to anticipate changes, and stay on top of them. In addition, they must also keep everyone else in the bank informed and make sure the institution stays ahead of the curve, and compliance…they are part soothsayer, part counselor, part sage, and part enforcer.
We’re sure to hear a lot more about Dodd-Frank and other regulatory changes over the next several months.
As always, we here at TRUPOINT Partners will keep our “ear to the ground” and work hard to help you and your bank manage compliance during these difficult times.