Our industry is no stranger to disruption. In the past year alone, we’ve seen new regulatory obligations to navigate as ASIC and APRA rise to the challenges posed to them by the Royal Commission. We’ve wrestled with turbulent market conditions, changing consumer behaviour and natural disasters. And now we’re facing a challenge that nobody was prepared for: a global pandemic.
No matter how good we get at predicting the future, we can never be certain what’s around the corner. Whatever type of change and disruption firms are dealing with, spotting emerging conduct risks and managing them effectively will help you come out the other side unscathed.
Here’s how you can ride the waves of change effectively and ensure your business is prepared for whatever comes your way:
- Foster a positive, customer-centric culture
Culture underpins the ways in which staff behave. Firms that cultivate a positive and agile one, which has room for flexibility and a problem solving attitude amongst staff, are more likely to adapt and thrive in the face of change.
Having a culture that places the customer at the heart of all business decisions will also enable staff to react in a customer-centric manner. Ultimately, you’ll be ensuring the continual delivery of positive customer outcomes despite the upheaval.
Not sure where to start? Read our blog for tips on building a better culture.
2. Don’t disregard data
In a world where data rules, firms have never had so much information at their fingertips. The key, in times of change, is ensuring that Management Information remains accurate and useful to senior management and continues to identify emerging risks. To provide value, MI should be collected from a range of sources, be comprehensive and acted upon quickly and decisively.
3. Take control of governance
Robust governance is essential for the operational resilience of financial services firms, and is never more important than in times of change and uncertainty.
A robust governance structure should ensure that no matter what disruption is occurring at a structural level, decisions continue to be made in customers’ best interests. Maintaining governance will ensure senior management continue to have visibility of emerging issues and risks, enabling them to react proportionately and quickly.
Similar to the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR), which aimed to create a culture of accountability across the industry to improve conduct, the incoming Financial Accountability Regime (FAR) will bring with it the need for enhanced governance frameworks. In our experience of helping UK clients meet their SMCR obligations, early preparation is key. Get ahead by defining roles, responsibilities and governance committees, and strengthening your frameworks now.