Services for Stockbrokers and Wealth Managers

Services We Provide

Compliance Health-Check (Benchmarking Audit)

This report sets out the work of Compliance Consultant into the general areas which the FCA often express interest and which generate most concerns.

The scope of the work required by FCA visits, are, in our view, extensive and required to be delivered in a short space of time. The Compliance Consultant team is qualified to undertake this work has experience of working with many financial institutions and regulators, ranging from working at board level, senior management, line managers and directly supervising sales personnel.

Areas We Cover

  1. GOVERNANCE AND STRATEGY

Management structure

Allocation of responsibilities

Risk management procedures

Documentation status (Policies, TORs, operating and compliance manuals, etc.)

  1. GENERAL COMPLIANCE

Compliance procedures within the firm

Conflicts of Interest

Anti-money laundering and Anti-Bribery & Corruption

Regulatory reporting

Interview with Directors or Manager(s) and Admin as required

  1. PERSONNEL MATTERS

Remuneration policies – fair bonuses/rewards/incentives

Training and competence (how/what/when & why)

Staff retention & recruitment

  1. CUSTOMERS

Treating Customer Fairly (inform, update, deliver)/Conduct Risk

Customer records (data protection)

Sales/service

Complaints – handling and records

Data security/protection measures

An essential part of the FCA’s expectations of a firm’s systems and controls, according to the Senior Management Arrangements, Systems and Controls (SYSC) sourcebook, is to have compliance documentation and appropriate policies, procedure manuals and various terms of reference, as part of an overall system of control. If a firm fails to have the relevant documentation available then they can risk having a non-compliant culture.

From our experience, we have found that many firms have grown from entrepreneurial beginnings, often have obtained the necessary ‘bolt-ons’ throughout their growth but do not have the fundamentals lined up appropriately, despite believing their business is compliant. They may use a third party compliance support facility, and get a range of template documents provided, that they have never personalised or in some cases, ever revised. Compliance Consultant have assisted many firms in creating and upholding a fully compliant culture within their regulated business activities.

We sell a market leading template that has been bought by IFAs through to private banks, stockbrokers to payment service providers and more.See More HERE.

From creating bespoke procedures for our clients and their specific business activities, or helping to implement policies for firms of all sizes, whatever the issue, we work closely with our clients to ensure they achieve the compliant results they desire.

If you are interested in speaking to one of our experts for a no obligation assessment of your compliance manuals, contact us on 020 3815 7939.

#fcatemplatecompliancemanual

Simply having the correct systems and controls in place is not enough to prove to the FCA that your firm is operating a compliant culture. Your firm needs to provide clear and documented evidence that a culture of compliance is embodied within every significant decision making process, not only with regards to your clients, but from a CIP, platform selection and the entire ‘Customer Journey’ (which is broader than most realise). The FCA has escalated the focus on this area and themed visits have increased significantly. We can help guide you through the considerations that are regarded as material and evidence the process.

Compliance Consultant understand that compliance has to be a lot more than just ticking boxes. We can advise and help with the more holistic elements of compliance and work with companies to ensure the “compliance culture” is communicated throughout the business. Download our free “Suitability Report Construction GuideHERE.

To assist its clients Compliance Consultant provides a range of compliance monitoring services to ensure a firm remains compliant. These monitoring services include quality assurance, compliance understanding training and suitability. We can also give valuable insight and guidance into the way a remedial project is being managed to ensure these stay on track.

We never provide “off the shelf” compliance solutions we only work with each of our clients to design and develop bespoke, tailored monitoring plans.

If you are interested in speaking to one of Compliance Consultant experts for a no obligation assessment of your procedures, practices, sales files (current, pre or past), or maybe just want to have a second opinion on retainer, we can provide any service you need, just contact us on 020 3815 7939.

Related articles :

#FCAtraining

All FCA regulated firms are required to demonstrate that their staff are competent to perform their role (ref SYSC 5.1.1R). Devising a process which enables the assessment of staff competence, identification of training needs and then implementation of the required courses/training to ensure that staff are up to speed is crucially important. A key area of business for Compliance Consultant is in the provision of training and assessing staff.

Compliance Consultant offers on and offsite training, at both a senior and junior level. We can have your staff assessed, recommend who needs training and the level of training required to meet required competence levels. We can plan and arrange courses or ongoing training and have run programs in a number of financial organisations.

Whilst minimum standards of performance will be required before an individual can carry out their role, competence does not have to be achieved prior to undertaking the activity as long as appropriate supervision is in place. However, once an individual is assessed as competent the level and intensity of supervision can become significantly lower.

Compliance Consultant are able to put in place clear criteria, policies and procedures for both achieving and maintaining competence.

If you are interested in speaking to one of Compliance Consultant experts for a no obligation assessment of your compliance needs, contact us on 020 3815 7939.

#FCAtandc

Compliance Consultant has been offering a complete FCA Application project management service since 2007.

By combining experience from within regulatory bodies with tried-and-tested procedures, Compliance Consultant can project-manage applications through to completion for financial institutions seeking to conduct ‘regulated activities’ in the UK. Our project prepares you for the application, ensuring that all your governance, regulatory business plan and the often overlooked supplemental documents are in lace and ready, minimising the input required from you wherever possible, freeing up valuable resources to ensure preparation of your business to start making money is given the attention it deserves.

Compliance Consultant has considerable experience and familiarity with the FCA application issues as they arise including conducting management, dealing, AML/CTF, AIF, advisory or retail marketing activities. We can also provide advice on marketing and pre-authorisation awareness raising activities, where needed.

Working in conjunction with any other service providers you have internally or externally, (eg. legal advisers and accountants), we provide a seamless service totally focused on making your FCA application experience quick and uncomplicated.

For more information on our FCA Application service offering please contact 020 3815 7939

#FCAauthorisation #fcavop

Compliance Consultant regularly undertakes training and coaching in regulatory inspections or compliance assurance reviews for clients. The drivers for each review or regulatory visit can be very different.

We can interview senior & line management using our database of typical FCA questions and through this assess processes and procedures for compliance with FCA rule requirements and undertake detailed testing. We follow up with a report and can also tailor a comprehensive risk assessment programme, that seeks to focus on the areas we evaluate “could be better” and are likely to be of highest regulatory risk and of potential interest to the regulator.

These reviews can be conducted on stand-alone UK basis or in conjunction with colleagues covering requirements in other jurisdictions. We run these reviews independently or, with other firms, (like the big 4) on a co-share basis.

If you are interested in our audit services and would like some more information about what Compliance Consultant can offer your business, contact us on 020 3815 7939.

#sysccompliance

Compliance Consultant regularly undertakes mock regulatory inspections or compliance assurance reviews for clients. The driver for each review can be very different. Recent regulatory interaction has involved a Risk Mitigation Plan, Changes in Senior Management, a “near-miss” regulatory breach resulting from a failure in key controls but we also complete independent reviews and assessment for assurance and risk management purposes.

Compliance Consultant has completed regulatory assessments at all manner of firms, alternative managers, brokers, OPS managers, wealth managers, property investment managers, IFAs, Consumer Credit firms, and we also deliver discrete compliance monitoring programs for large managers on a co-sourced basis.

We will interview senior management, assess processes and procedures for compliance with FCA rule requirements and undertake detailed testing. We follow with or can tailor a comprehensive risk assessment programme, that seeks to focus on the areas we evaluate to be of highest regulatory risk and of potential interest to the regulator.

These reviews can be conducted on stand-alone UK basis or in conjunction with colleagues from other disciplines covering requirements in other jurisdictions. We can also run these reviews independently or in paralle with other firms, (like the big 4) on a co-share basis.

If you are interested in our audit services and would like some more information about what Compliance Consultant can offer your business, contact us on 020 3815 7939.

#Complianceassurance

One thing that we are all familiar with in Financial Services is the complaint process; or are we?

Compliance Consultant regularly undertakes reviews of complaints, to provide the independent perspective, or to ensure that a batch of complaints have been handled correctly and in accordance with the regulations.

Sometimes, we identify issues where the firm has got sidetracked with the compliant process, so much that the findings in their complaints can be non-TCF (treating Customers Fairly) or in fact breach the acceptable Conduct Risk expectations and outcomes.

We can assess and report on your;

  • Processes and procedures,
  • Representative samples of your case files
  • Individual case files where the complaint target is a director of the firm
  • Individual assessment of cases that are potential FOS cases
  • And so much more …

If you are interested in our complaint services and would like some more information about what Compliance Consultant can offer your business, contact us on 020 3815 7939.

#FCAcomplaints

Compliance Consultant can carry out a review process comprising an assessment of your current compliance monitoring arrangements, as well as your compliance policies and procedures. At the end of the review process, we will provide you with details of areas we have tested, a narrative of the responses provided, and a summary of your policy and procedure arrangements. This will detail any areas where weaknesses have been identified or where improvements should be made.

The key stages of the Compliance Health-Check by Compliance Consultant will are as follows:

  • Have an initial conversation with you to get an overview of your firm, its activities and how it is structured;
  • SYSC Compliance
  • General Compliance
  • Assess the policies and procedures you have in place;
  • Consider whether the policies and procedures in place are fit for purpose, in keeping with industry standards;
  • Conduct high-level monitoring of the compliance areas relevant to firms with your FCA permissions – (up to 7 key areas)
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Marketing/KYC/Client Onboarding
  • Prudential Requirements
  • Investment Compliance
  • Investment Committee effectiveness review and decision making
  • Investment Operations and Administration (where relevant)

Provide a comprehensive summary of the testing, including relevant observations and recommendations to rectify any weaknesses identified.

If you are interested in our audit services and would like some more information about what Compliance Consultant can offer your business, contact us on 020 3815 7939.

#FCAcompliance