R&C: How would you describe the impact the current regulatory environment is having on corporate compliance obligations?

Rosen: The regulators are definitely out there looking and there is no surprise as to what steps companies should take to have an effective ethics and compliance programme. From a technology perspective, it is an exciting time to see how companies can leverage data for effective compliance. Compliance will not just be a cost centre, but a key differentiator in helping companies distance themselves from competitors. If they make a proactive investment in the proper compliance technology and tools and use the data, they are going to find themselves in a much cleaner position and avoid their competitors’ pitfalls.

Cropper: There is a lot of chatter at the moment about the compliance industry being in a state of flux, the compliance boom being over, and so on. While the fines are coming down, that does not mean compliance activity is coming down. It just means there is a different way to conduct your compliance operation. Recent trends encourage companies to self-report, rather than wait to be found out, by offering rewards and potential reductions in penalties. The danger I am seeing is that investment in compliance is sometimes delayed until companies understand what the next trend will be. I think that is a red herring. After all, if you wait to catch up with a trend, that is where you incur the higher costs associated with noncompliance, rather than the lower cost of maintaining proactive compliance. One new concept I am seeing is that regulators now incorporate technology into their guidelines. Some of the questions the Department of Justice (DOJ) asks to prove effectiveness are: Do you have a budget for compliance, technology and resources? Have you ever been denied?

Oct-Dec 2018 Issue


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