7 Compliance Cost Cutting Tips

After years of expense increases, many financial institutions seek methods to reduce or even eliminate their compliance budgets. According to the 2019 ABA Survey of Bank Compliance Officers Report, the average financial institution spends around 5% of its total budget on compliance. 

Nonetheless, compliance departments struggle to accomplish their mission given their present resources. According to a recent poll, two-thirds of compliance officers see a lack of time to handle regulatory compliance as a primary source of frustration. 

Numerous compliance officers claim that they:  

  • Lack of sufficient people or resources 
  • Lack of the necessary tools 
  • Lack of cooperation with other departments 

How can financial institutions minimize compliance costs while being compliant? It requires a blend of imagination and pragmatism. Businesses must consider how to make the best use of available resources to maximize the value of their compliance labor hours. Modern bank compliance monitoring systems may complement the compliance management team, enabling the same number of compliance personnel to perform significantly better; automating some mundane activities aids in this effort. Additionally, it is critical to examine all areas where the organization is wasting the most time. Here are seven tips that result in reduced costs: 

  1. Employ compliance professionals to do duties that need their particular knowledge, expertise, and judgment. Compliance personnel is costly to recruit. Their time and abilities are better spent on tasks that require the expertise of a compliance specialist. When they spend time pestering personnel to accomplish duties, determining if functions were done, and gathering documentation in preparation for an exam, they have less time for larger-scale compliance work. These repetitive administrative duties are inefficient and can readily be automated, freeing up your compliance staff to focus on more strategic objectives. 
  2. Compliance should be invited to strategic planning discussions. Don't waste time developing a new product or service without first ensuring compliance. Compliance officers who repeatedly respond "no" when asked if the FI can do anything frequently do so because of a lack of time to research grey areas in the legislation or devise novel solutions. Additional time for the compliance officer might result in more effective solutions and rule interpretations, providing you with a competitive edge. 
  3. Make training a priority. It is all too common for regulations and guidance to be misinterpreted. Compliance is a maze of legal papers, rules, and policy guidelines. When there is little time to evaluate documents, compliance might make mistakes. Peer-to-peer training delivers unique perspectives. When compliance officers do not have time for regular exercise, they tend to make mistakes. 
  4. Investigate compliance-related disclosures that require periodic updating. Certain form suppliers may charge thousands of dollars more than a compliance attorney for the privilege of changing a few phrases. It's worthwhile to spend some time looking for a cost-effective and compliance disclosure solution. 
  5. Leverage one department's or team's expenditures to benefit other departments' or teams' expenses. Bankers frequently wear many hats. Often, technological alternatives may do the same thing. Utilize the Redlining Analytics application in the compliance department to deliver market intelligence to the marketing team. Utilize marketing's social media monitoring tool to keep an eye out for brand references and potential complaints. Be innovative and discover new methods to utilize existing tools.
  6. Leverage your compliance management tools to the fullest extent possible (CMS). If you've acquired compliance management system software, consider if you're utilizing all of its features. A minor investment in extra training for your department or other FI personnel may enhance usage, resulting in a more efficient and collaborative FI and maximizing your CMS dollar. The CMS can deliver benefits such as:  
    1. Empower other departments to do basic regulatory research with the assistance of an automated CMS. 
    2. Establish procedures that enable other departments to undertake quality assurance or compliance assessments of their processes. 
    3. Reminders, task tracking, and audit trail are all automated. 
    4. Consolidate compliance/risk management activities.
  7.  Avoid being naive during the slump. Numerous financial institutions attempt to minimize expenses during the epidemic, but bankers are well aware of the dangers of being penny wise and pound dumb. While reducing the compliance budget may result in short-term savings, it may have long-term consequences. Overworked compliance workers may experience burnout while attempting to maintain manual processes. They are more prone to make avoidable compliance errors, ultimately harming the bottom line and the FI's image. 

These seven techniques will assist your company in determining where compliance costs are being wasted. Businesses may use technology to improve compliance procedures and make it simpler for compliance teams to detect non-compliance, which results in reduced penalties and losses associated with compliance, further offsetting compliance expenses. 

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