The need for a regulatory compliance framework

As those who work in the regulatory compliance world continue to deal with the stress of long hours and their time being consumed with a number of competing and complex priorities, John Downing (Enterprise Architect & Programme Manager, GFT) analyses just exactly what these priorities and challenges currently are.

For many working in regulatory compliance the complex priorities and challenges include:

  • Trying to digest the 1,700+ pages of the MiFID II regulatory technical and implementing standards (RTSs) published by ESMA to provide clarity for the January 2017 deadline
  • Providing support for those overseas branches who have customers in countries which haven’t yet implemented the US foreign account tax compliance act (FATCA)
  • Undertaking user acceptance testing of the variation margin requirements for the European Market Infrastructure Regulations (EMIR) due to go live in March 2017
  • Working on finalising their policies, training materials and rollout plan for the 72 pages of the market abuse directive (MAD), to meet June 2016 deadline
  • Trying to fix the problems of the short selling regulation (SSR)
  • Making amendments to the central securities depositories regulation (CSDR) system
  • Gaining management buy-in for the changes required for the packaged retail and insurance-based investment products (PRIIPs)
  • Bringing in consultants to organise the rollout of their anti-money laundering directive IV (AMLD IV)
  • Proving to the Board of Directors that they aren’t engaged in shadow banking regulation (SBR)
  • Talking to their finance director about the capital requirements directive IV (CRD IV)
  • Telling their IT department they need to adopt the common reporting standards (CRS)
  • Negotiating with the legal department about the Senior Managers and Certification Regime
  • Awaiting approval for the bank recovery and resolution directive measures (BRRD)
  • And trying to find time to look at the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD)

The need to adapt

As these problems continue to pile-up, no wonder those who work in this area are wondering how they can juggle all these non-income earning activities, with no additional budgets for additional systems personnel and subject matter experts.

Recently, such an expert reminisced to me about the days when banking systems were all about debits and credits, and the importance of the 3pm deadlines and “windows” for paper securities. She said that the complexities of option pricing models seems like child’s play when compared with the detail required when on-boarding a new client, or figuring out what the business operating model and technical architecture requirements are for some of these new regulations. The analogy she used was that it is like trying to tame just one of a racing herd of wild horses. Regardless, this is the situation in which we find ourselves, and at GFT we know that we have to move quickly with the times within this ‘New Normal’.


Whereas we now have enterprise-wide counterparty and static “golden source” databases, cross asset class market and credit risk systems, and group general ledger and finance systems, we don’t have many examples of an end-to-end enterprise-wide framework for integrating this plethora of new regulations into a bank in a seamless manner. Most of the regulations identified above are probably being implemented by the department “which is the most affected”.

This was certainly the case for FATCA (where the tax department probably took ownership by default!), and for CRD IV (which was handled by the Finance Department), with all the changes directly relating to customers (e.g. Client Agreements and Legal Entity Identifiers) being handled by relationship managers. Consequently for the Compliance Officers themselves, a ‘regulatory compliance framework’ is certainly required.

Next week I will be discussing that as we are now in a much better position to bring intelligent design and technology to bear in solving this problem, and why at GFT we are taking a more holistic view to solve tackle these challenges.

Read the second part of this blog here: Why a ‘regulatory compliance framework’ needs a holistic approach

A version of this blog post recently appeared on Finextra.

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