Whilst the Royal Commission into the Misconduct in Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry may have concluded, the implications of the hearing and new compliance requirements will continue to affect the industry for years, if not decades. The question from many is now how to manage stockbroker compliance cost effectively. That is, how can a stockbroker ensure compliance and still ensure a profit?
Whilst ASX Compliance is responsible for overseeing compliance of ASX participants and listed entities in Australia, there are two independent Australian government agencies that govern the Australian financial markets. These are, Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). At the core of it, these regulators enforce the laws and regulations that govern our financial markets. In addition to this, there are International Standards and Regulations including (but not limited to) the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and Technical Committee of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
With an extensive list of compliance obligations, and the tremendous amount of paperwork associated, it should go without saying that Brokers should be looking to electronic and automated solutions. Let’s just rattle off a few of the documents that need to be kept secure and stored – ROA, SOA, disclosures, 708 8 expiry register, FOFA FDS letter – and so many more! The latest issue of “Stockbrokers Monthly” includes a five page outline on the professional standard requirements and FASEA for existing advisers including current students of RG146. Yes – five pages. You could almost say that the list is endless, because by the time you have finalized one document, you are sure to be onto the next, and not just for one client but several!
The ASIC website has an extensive library of documents and guides outlining AFS licensee requirements and obligations. Its critical for individual stockbrokers to remain educated on the regulations, particularly as the recent updates and staged obligations are rolled out and enforced.
The modern era is one of leveraging technology to gain productivity and efficiency. Financial markets have always been early adopters of new technology. In fact, the ASX currently entrusts the entire Australian equities market to three 2½ metre-high racks of servers in Sydney – a far cry from the trading floors of the 1980’s. From chalk boards and paper to a state-of-the-art electronic system, the productivity and global efficiency of the exchange would not be possible without this technology. The side benefit is that we can also use technology to -
1) Reduce risk of error
2) Automate functions and reminders
3) Allow alerts for incomplete/missing requirements
4) Encourage reduced paper use, allowing us to save the world one tree at a time
Online compliance solutions, and stockbroker compliance automation, allows brokers to spend less time chasing papers and more time “doing”. Automation certainly is not a new concept and has been used from car manufacturing through to marketing, printing to financial services for decades. The question is, how can you implement a stockbroker compliance solution cost effectively and with minimal disruption to everyday business? The answer is: find the best solution that aligns with your requirements, offers great user experience, offers completely secure digital storage, and has a robust system for compliance functions.
Compliance systems can allow you to automate functions such as:
A stockbroker’s compliance obligations can be supported with a holistic view to compliance all from an advisors desktop.
The world wide web is cluttered with online software solutions – from email marketing to content management, customer relationship management (CRM) software to online sales. What if you could simplify your digital landscape? Having an automated compliance solution that allows you to have a singular view of your client is essential for managing stockbroker compliance cost effectively. Why pay for external customer relationship software if you can house it all in one interface and digital platform? Not only does this reduce the time to “dig out” details on any given customer, it also reduces your overheads.
We’ve put together a list of the essentials when reviewing online compliance automation solutions. This list includes
1) Alerts for outstanding advice and/or actions required
2) Secure digital document storage
3) Digital breach register
4) FDS Generation, FOFA reporting and electronic acceptance of FOFA opt in capabilities
5) CRM capabilities including storage of client profiles, the ability for clients to self-maintain their information and more
6) Document library for compliance policies, compliance training documents and more
7) Reporting functionality
8) 708 Register to manage Sophisticated Accountant Certificates
9) Digital Chinese Wall Register
10)Compliance Task Manager
Whilst there have been many reports in the media of customers “ultimately paying” for the increased regulations, the bottom line is that compliance obligations are going to remain under scrutiny. In fact, the latest Federal Budget includes 25% (more than $400 million) additional funding to ASIC to implement the enforcement strategy. “ASIC is reinventing itself as something remarkably similar to the aggressive US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)” – Andrew Tierney, Credit & Risk Specialist. With this level of scrutiny, stockbrokers should be looking at how they can address, improve and cost effectively implement a compliance solution sooner rather than later.
Built by stockbrokers for stockbrokers. Complii is a secure digital platform that removes the need for paper based compliance. This customisable software has been designed to automate, record and report on an AFS Licensee's and Brokers compliance obligations.
For more information on Complii’s compliance software, visit our website or call us on 02 9235 0028.