Continuous road

When Business Continuity Plans Become Business as Usual

A Message from Kyri Yiannakis, Managing Director & Head of EMEA, ComplySci

The current international health crisis continues to place significant pressure on all aspects of every financial services firm’s operations, with both regulatory and official bodies struggling to keep pace with emerging risks.

For many years, the operational risk community has enthusiastically planned for a pandemic situation such as Covid-19, however few believed that a virus could impact our lives so widely and deeply in such a short period of time.

Of course, it’s not just business as usual which is anything but normal. We’re juggling resource shortages, dissemination of news feeds, key person dependency issues, internal and external fraud, online threats combined with trying to maintain compliance activities.

In Europe, our key regulators are cancelling consultations as well as postponing some thematic reviews. This will allow them to focus on day-to-day oversight with reduced resources and react to the current environment as appropriate. Most are being reasonable; however, every organisation should be aware that regulatory reporting data must be maintained and submitted as soon as possible and that the pandemic will not serve as a reason for non-compliance.

In our opinion, the scale and depth of this crisis combined with unknown knock-on effects to firms of all sizes and complexities will change the regulatory environment for years to come. Every organisation will need to manage their compliance oversight activities from multiple sites, the home working environment and on mobile devices for the foreseeable future.

Approvals, reporting, submissions, error flags and gap/discrepancy analysis will all need to be maintained in a much-changed physical business environment, leading one Hedge Fund CCO to state that (without an automated compliance solution) “it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to accurately pick up all discrepancies between what employees are reporting as opposed to what they’re actually doing.

As we all become accustomed to the new (albeit temporary) normal, we wanted to let our existing and prospective clients know that we’re on your side. Our support team in London and New York remain fully operational and our own continuity plans are in place to provide a seamless service today and every day.

We look forward to supporting your company. Reach out to one of our team to find out more.