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UK, EU compliance priorities for 2018: Skill and agility in face of uncertainty

The coming year will see significant regulatory change. What can compliance professionals do to stay on top of it?

Alexander Robson, editor-in-chief for Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence, may have put it mildly when he said, “It’s an interesting time to be a compliance professional.”

Robson made his comment during the Feb. 27 “Compliance trends and priorities in 2018” webinar. He was referring to a host of daunting challenges that altogether are requiring compliance professionals to display “chameleon-like adaptability” as they help their organizations meet and overcome new and complex regulatory obstacles.

Those obstacles include:

Cumulatively, these challenges make for a difficult business environment. In response to a poll run during the webinar, 51.2 percent of respondents cited “continued regulatory change” as their “greatest compliance challenge in 2018.” A distant second was “resource constraints” at 36.8 percent.

There is no single approach that will help an organization sail over its regulatory and compliance challenges. That being said, Senior Regulatory Intelligence Expert Susannah Hammond identified several points that may help:

  • Polish up a comprehensive set of skills: Hammond advised organizations take “a long hard look at whether they have the right sets of skills and the right mix of skills to not only look at current business, but – with all that regulatory change we can see coming – future business as well.”
  • Take data protection seriously: The “potentially enormous fines” that could accompany a GDPR violation (fines could be the greater of 20 million euros or 4 percent of global annual turnover) should prompt organizations to be proactive and cautious. One major point: whether adequate consent to data-gathering has been collected from an individual. “The huge difference is the quality and durability of the consent to having data gathered,” Hammond said, specifically highlighting the apparent expectation that consent be “refreshed” every two years. “If you are a financial services firm of any size, that is a huge undertaking in and of itself.”
  • Deploy FinTech and RegTech intelligently: Hammond cautioned against seeing RegTech and FinTech products as cure-alls. “Compliance needs to think about how RegTech could and should be deployed. Which one best fits their problem?” she said. “In addition, you need to be very, very sure that you are putting a RegTech or FinTech solution on very solid footing.”

Learn more

Explore Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence and watch a recording of the Compliance trends and priorities in 2018 webinar.

The State of Regulatory Reform 2018: A Special Report is also available for complimentary download.

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