Whatever industry you’re in, legal compliance is an essential part of operations – isn’t it? Invoice finance is neatly split between the FCA-regulated banks and the independent invoice financiers. If you’re bank-owned you just know the bank is compliant and you may be about to stop reading – but don’t! And if you’re an independent invoice financier you too may be about to stop reading, thinking ‘we don’t need to be regulated,’ – but don’t! We all know what ‘compliance’ means ‘big yawn’ (no more GDPR please) but whatever industry you’re in, corporate legal compliance really is an essential part of operations.
Compliance through Training – Ticking boxes – or invigorating quality service?
What is corporate compliance? Simply put, corporate compliance is the process of making sure your company and employees follow the laws, regulations, standards, and ethical practices that apply to your organisation. But it’s not enough to be tick-box compliant. It’s not about paying lip-service to the law. Compliance training is about energising your staff to maintain high quality standards that both protect and promote your business. It’s about changing attitudes and behaviours that are yes, compliant, but also maintain the highest ethical standards and quality of service delivery that makes your business successful.
Enforcing compliance in corporate policy will help your company prevent and detect violations of the rules and this can save your organisation from big fines – or worse still, a prison sentence. Eyes alert to AML are also alert to fraud in invoice finance. But do you find yourself grudgingly ploughing through irrelevant examples in online compliance training every year when you’d rather be doing the ‘real’ job? You’re not alone. Organisations that continue to churn out the same old online compliance training to staff are missing the point. Training isn’t and shouldn’t be about passing a test to tick a compliance box. It’s about inspiring, motivating, invigorating staff to outperform -in ethics yes -but also in everything they do. In invoice financing that means exemplary client service but also keen monitoring for risk. Invoice financiers who churn out tick-box annual compliance training are missing the opportunity to train staff to be alert to financial risk – your first line of defence against financial fraud.
One-size-fits-all regulatory training for bank owned invoice financiers is a waste of money. If the case studies are only relevant to retail banking they won’t resonate with credit controllers. Training above all must be relevant. Similarly for independent invoice financiers thinking they’ve escaped the need for regulatory training – think again. What an opportunity you are missing to teach your staff to be alert to fraud by not training them to spot money laundering.
Key expectations of employee behaviour are met through employee compliance training. This helps your staff stay focused on your organisation’s broader goals, and ensures your operations run smoothly. The training must be ongoing. The best invoice financiers establish a corporate compliance training programme to help govern compliance with their own policies as well as the industry’s standards. An effective corporate compliance training program integrates all your compliance efforts – from compliance with external regulations to compliance with your internal rules and procedures – and is relevant to the industry it serves. Ultimately, the purpose of a corporate compliance program is to protect your organisation. When employees are trained in compliance, they are more likely to recognize and report illegal or unethical activity.
It’s not just the new AML rules or the now famous GDPR you need to be compliant with. What about compliance with The Bribery Act? Are you sure you always are? Proper relevant training can help your organisation avoid waste, fraud, abuse, discrimination, and other practices that disrupt operations and put your company and your reputation, as well as that of the industry, at risk. Compliance training in invoice financing enables your employees to do their jobs well, keep customers happy, and reach their personal aspirations and ambitions. In turn, this helps your company grow and achieve your businesses’ goals.
By making sure all areas of your organisation are working together and maintaining industry standards, corporate compliance can help prevent major disasters and individual failures. But your training must be relevant and targeted specifically to the sector. Your organisation can’t afford to ignore the need for a corporate compliance program or use one that isn’t tailored to the receivables financing industry. Your compliance programme should be well planned and implemented, with coinciding relevant training to guarantee staff are both sector-compliant with the added benefit of motivation, inspiration and aspiration that investment in staff training brings to your business.
Compliance through Leadership
Compliance is about fostering a workplace culture that values integrity and ethical conduct.
This starts at the top. Your business leaders need to buy-in to the need for training and implementation. Senior managers and directors must also abide by the rules. Managers and team leaders should encourage ethical behavior and openly talk about the importance of compliance. They must also welcome employee input, stressing that employees won’t be punished for reporting unlawful or unethical behavior.
Top Tips to Refine your Corporate Compliance Program:
- Get your leadership on board
- Corporate compliance programmes don’t run themselves. There must be one person or department who’s responsible for its’ management.
- Those in charge of the compliance programme must have the authority to enforce the rules and hold staff at all levels accountable.
- Management of the compliance programme must have direct access to the company’s governing body – which may include senior management or the board of directors.
- The governing body should regularly assess the effectiveness of the corporate compliance programme and the training provision.
- Take action immediately on discovering a potential compliance failure.
- Implement a relevant industry-specific training programme
Just because you’re a bank-owned invoice financier don’t think ‘tick-box’ online compliance training relating to banking is enough. Neither can independent invoice financiers get away with thinking they’re not regulated and don’t need to bother. Relevant regulatory training in invoice financing is the only way to motivate, inspire and create ethical behaviours, spot adverse trends and promote quality of service throughout the industry to all of our clients.
To transform your compliance training today contact one of our friendly learning experts.