A survey of compliance within regulated organisations in Guernsey today
The purpose of the survey was to identify the challenges, emerging trends and to assist readers in understanding the development of the role of compliance in Guernsey.
This report is prepared during a time of great challenge for financial services firms as they battle to come out of the other side of the worst financial crisis in many generations. With many observers seeing the breakdown in risk management as a major contributor to the financial crisis, the role of compliance has never been more critical for regulated financial services entities in Guernsey, as it seeks to maintain its position as a leading offshore financial centre.
Compliance has raised its profile during the economic crisis, resulting in additional support from key stakeholders. An organisation’s best defence against a breakdown in controls or a breach of regulations is not policy and procedure alone. Compliance with laws and regulations as well as with the entities’ own risk management priorities is more than this. It is the culture of compliance within an organisation – a mindset on the part of every individual so that actions in support of compliance become automatic and intuitive.
What a number of organisations globally are finding out to their detriment, is that the cost of a remediation programme, in terms of time, expense and overall impact on the business, far exceeds the cost of getting compliance right first time. This experience although certainly felt in Guernsey will be that much harder in the future.
A key finding of our survey is that managing and keeping pace with the significant volume of new and revised regulations and legislation is the primary challenge for compliance. This most common response is despite a recent ‘tooling up’ across the industry where 38% of participants have increased their headcount in 2011.