Why Corporate Compliance Should Never Be Left to Chance

We live in an increasingly risk-filled business world. Round every corner lie regulatory traps for the unwary and the uninformed – traps that are entirely avoidable. Welcome to the world of corporate compliance.

Being compliant isn’t simply a matter of acknowledging and conforming to external regulation. In every sector, regulated or not, organisations need to address both internal and external compliance as essential elements of their day-to-day operations. Anything less leaves them open to the consequences of uninformed, misguided, negligent or criminal acts of their officers or employees.

That, as recent history shows in graphic detail, brings potentially catastrophic consequences. It’s not something you leave to chance.

Compliance is a Way of Life for a Well-Managed Business

At Wilmington, compliance lies in our genes. It’s a common thread that runs through each of our four Areas of Knowledge - Risk & Compliance, Finance, Legal and Insight – and one which dates back to the founding of the International Compliance Association (ICA) in 2001. In any business or professional organisation, minimising or eliminating unwanted risks should be a priority. That’s where we help.

Fear of financial crime is at the root of many compliance activities. The ICA, the leading global provider of professional certificated qualifications and training in compliance, defines financial crime as either “activities that dishonestly generate wealth for those involved”, or “protecting a dishonest benefit [for example, money laundering] that has already been obtained”.

Clearly, financial crime isn’t limited to regulated industries. Misreporting, embezzlement and corporate theft are just as likely to occur in a retail environment as they are in merchant banking, while the potential for money laundering exists in any business that handles regular cash transactions. The key to preventing financial crime lies in recognising suspicious activity and being prepared to tackle it.

Education and Training are Essential Steps to Achieving Compliance

While the financial sector is particularly vulnerable to fraud, the foundation of any successful fight against financial crime is the culture within the organisation concerned. Officers and employees need to know that fraud prevention is a common objective throughout the organisation at all levels, that they have been trained to play their part in the fight, and that their efforts are acknowledged. Effective education and training are the essential tools of the trade.

Recognising the signs of financial crime requires a thorough professional approach, and one which is appropriate to the jurisdiction(s) in the organisation operates. Risks vary from country to country; while institutional corruption and bribery are commonplace in some parts of the world, more sophisticated activities pose a greater threat elsewhere. The ICA’s extensive qualification register includes certification in Business Compliance, Financial Crime Prevention, Anti Money-Laundering and, more recently, Cyber Security.

Understanding the requirements imposed by applicable legislation is a task in itself. Banking institutions, lawyers, financial advisors, accountants and real estate agents and other practising professionals in almost every country face a regulatory maze. At Wilmington, we offer face-to-face training and online courses that address these needs – tailored to the law and to the risks present in each jurisdiction.

Visit our Risk & Compliance Division here on the Wilmington Hub; in addition to extensive content that showcases our capabilities, you’ll find links to our businesses and contact details for the people who can answer your questions. As many of our clients have discovered, working with Wilmington could help you avoid major compliance headaches.

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