Regulation is dark and full of terrors...
In all fairness, the terrors faced by the Game of Thrones characters on a weekly basis may be a little more life threatening than those posed by FCA regulation but, particularly for those who are adjusting to life under a new regulator, there are some twists and turns that could leave you as open mouthed with surprise as seeing (SPOILER ALERT!) Jon Snow return from the dead. So, for a moment, consider me your lantern-holder, guiding you through the murky tunnels of Winterfell, shedding light on some of the costs of compliance which may have hitherto remained hidden.
One aspect which can come as an unpleasant surprise to many is the amount of time that keeping up with your compliance obligations can take up on an ongoing basis. The application process is the majority of firms’ first interaction with the FCA and the volume of information required and depth of detail is generally unexpected, especially having experienced a much more arm‘s length approach previously from the OFT. However, arduous as it may have been, the application process is only the first milestone on the compliance journey. For some firms I have spoken with, this realisation has the same effect as thinking that you’ve reached the finish-line of a marathon, then realising that it’s actually just a water station and you’ve actually got to do another half-marathon every year. Forever.
Sadly, there’s no way of ‘cheating’; it needs to be done. You must have rock solid procedures and processes in place which you can easily repeat whenever necessary, and report upon clearly to the regulator, or your clients when necessary. As I said, there’s no way to avoid meeting these requirements, however, there are shortcuts you can put in place to ensure the bulk of the work sits within a process that you don’t need to run manually each time. It’s easy to view this as a negative, an imposition on your already thinly stretched time, but having processes like this in place can be beneficial for your business. Producing reliable management information at the touch of a button can reveal highly useful client trends, strengths and weaknesses within your operating model, which can ultimately offer untapped opportunities and much more.
Fortunately, working with an organisation like The SimplyBiz Group means that our specialist team will keep you up-to-date with what you need to do, the practicalities of how to approach it and the regularity with which it needs to happen, so that you don’t have to do it all yourself. The SimplyBiz Group has fourteen years of experience in this area, and that’s just one of the reasons why AOBP has chosen to partner with us. If you want help with adapting to FCA regulation and keeping compliant on an ongoing basis, please get in touch with us urgently on 01484 443424.