Few banking organizations can say that they have 100% confidence in their regulatory reporting processes, or that they don’t see compliance as a tedious and expensive affair. Most banks, especially small and mid-sized ones, are constantly between a rock and a hard place when it comes to dealing with compliance. On the one hand, the race to satisfy the evolving demands of regulators can get quite tiresome.
But on the other hand, if banks don’t keep up with their regulatory standards, they stand to accumulate steep penalties and lose trust both among their regulators and the general public. They also have to deal with the added consequences of being seen as obsolete within their industry.
If you’re one of the stewards of your bank’s compliance program, how can you improve your efforts and standing with regulators? To that end, here are some tips that you can use to simplify your current regulatory reporting process and go beyond thinking of compliance as a mere administrative headache.
Rethink Your Compliance Journey as a Holistic Intervention for Your Bank
The first tip pertains to your mindset about your compliance program. As regulatory processes get more complex and thus more difficult to implement, it’s easy to lose track of why you should master compliance. But you should never forget that compliance is not just about putting your best foot forward for your regulators or avoiding fines.
The ideal compliance journey is a holistic one—i.e., one that will allow your bank to improve its approaches towards risk management, balance sheet management, and capital gains management based on what you see from your compliance data. Bolstering your compliance program can also save your bank a lot of money in terms of operational costs and miscellaneous fees. If you keep this notion at the heart of your efforts to change your regulatory reporting system, the journey towards multi-standard compliance will truly be a simpler one for your bank.
Onboard A Dedicated Regulatory Reporting Solution
Second, you may want to consider new technology solutions for your compliance processes, like dedicated regulatory reporting software. Upgrading your current tech stack for compliance may help you achieve the following in particular:
- Adherence to a single source of truth for everyone involved in the compliance journey, and therefore the elimination of the data silos that often obstruct the compilation of timely and accurate reports.
- Better clarity and control over your data through the use of features like instant data quality checks and data quality dashboards, both of which will help you ensure the accuracy and integrity of your data.
- Access to automated technologies that can take care of the rote tasks that constitute regulatory compliance, from data aggregation to report submission.
Though it’s true that upgrading to a new regulatory reporting solution will require a large upfront investment, it will ultimately save your bank hundreds of hours—and therefore hundreds or even thousands of dollars—on achieving full compliance. Your compliance staff will be better coordinated with each other when they’re doing their jobs, and they’ll also be freer to do advanced-level decision-making about your reports.
Identify Data Overlaps for Multiple Regulatory Frameworks
The third thing you can do is craft a consolidated data strategy for meeting several regulatory frameworks at once. It’s definitely possible to have an all-in-one approach to fulfilling multiple frameworks if the data requirements are similar, like in the case of the Common Reporting (COREP) framework and the Financial Reporting (FINREP) framework. For sure, it’s better than repeating the same data gathering or data consolidation tasks over and over.
Your bank will need to identify the data elements that are involved across multiple standards and then determine a way to sort and cull your data, depending on what regulatory standard you’re reporting for. Once you’ve done so, you can customize the format and content of each report accordingly.
Implement a Reliable Testing Methodology for Your Compliance Data
Fourth, you should ensure that compliance controls are in place and that your compliance system is handling the data in the way that you intend for it to. You will be able to do this by finalizing a scheme for data testing.
Testing will admittedly be a challenging endeavor for you and your team since you have a limited window given looming deadlines for particular regulations. But if you are able to develop a reliable testing framework and quickly identify any testing roadblocks, this task will be much easier to implement.
Hold Compliance-Related Training for Involved Personnel
Fifth, it is a good idea to hold regular compliance-related training for all personnel who will be involved in regulatory reporting. This is your opportunity to update your staff on the banking laws and regulations that your institution needs to comply with. It also provides an opening for you to discuss the latest developments in your bank’s procedures and policies for regulatory compliance.
These training sessions will allow everyone in the compliance team to “sharpen their saws” with regard to their knowledge, analysis, and reporting acumen. Don’t forget to keep everyone abreast of updates from regulators, such as changes in deadlines, so that the whole compliance team is on the same page about what you need to achieve.
Final Words: Building an Excellent Compliance Program for Your Bank
Regulatory reporting need not always be a thorn in your side. If the processes that govern your compliance journey are simplified and made more efficient, you will be able to rest easy when you meet your regulators. You will also be able to experience the rewards of being more analytical, more data-driven, and more in control of your bank’s performance metrics.
Knowing that, take the necessary steps to streamline your regulatory reporting—and transform your compliance processes into more holistic ones.