Recently, officials announced charges against the operators of a global currency exchange, Liberty Reserve. Operators of money service businesses (MSBs) should take note of compliance training programs designed to help comply with new rules, reduce risk, minimize exposure and thus avoid heavy penalties.
In light of events like those reported in a May 28 New York Times article, written by Marc Santora, William K. Rashbaum, and Nicole Perlroth, entitled “Online Currency Exchange Accused of Laundering $6 Billion,” which details accusations involving an online money-laundering operation perpetrated by the operators of a global currency exchange and Money Service Business (MSB), Liberty Reserve, compliance has become a top priority in the financial industry.
The U.S. government has taken notice and become increasingly more cognizant of the important role compliance plays in the financial industry, and the effects have been felt industry-wide.
“MSBs and many other businesses operating in the financial services industry are finding themselves accelerating efforts to meet their compliance-requirement needs,” according to Banker’s Academy Chief Operating Officer, Jim Cannon. “Anytime there is a transgression of this magnitude (referring to the Liberty Reserve scandal), legislation will inevitably follow.”
Regulatory compliance must be seen as an integral part of governance duties monitored by top management and corporate boards. A fervent demand for compliance professionals has arisen from Wall Street to Main Street as companies have unveiled plans to fill compliance officer positions.
“In general, the larger financial industry is paying more heed to compliance, and many companies within the industry have developed and enacted plans to educate personnel regarding compliance regulations to empower compliance auditors and compliance officers,” Cannon said.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 31% increase in compliance employment, largely as a result of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act of 2010, according to a 2013 About.com financial careers article by Mark Kolakowski. Under the act, thousands of smaller financial institutions, including community banks, hedge funds and private equity firms, will be forced to file regular reports with regulatory agencies for the first time, according to the article.
MSBs and other companies operating in the financial industry are now faced with a two-fold challenge when addressing their compliance needs: either recruiting individuals who already possess adequate corporate training, or providing the appropriate training themselves and incurring whatever costs the training entails.
“Resources are shrinking; recruiting and finding individuals with adequate compliance training has been unsuccessful,” according to Cannon. “The pool of qualified individuals is diminishing mainly due to increased awareness placed upon the importance of compliance, and as a result, they are quickly recruited and hired to fill compliance-related roles.”
Most compliance officers have college degrees, but not all jobs require them, according to a 2013 U.S. News & World Report compliance article, entitled “Compliance Officer.” Because specific job requirements vary greatly, moderate on-the-job experience may be required.
According to the compliance article, “The most important skills include leadership, writing, public speaking, ethical decision-making, communications, and training and instructional design,” said Keith Darcy, executive director of the Ethics and Compliance Officers Association (ECOA). “They should also possess a high degree of courage and integrity due to the confidential nature of the work.” Many positions require certification and regular retraining in the business and industry sector in which the person works.
In order to fulfill a company’s needs for thorough, comprehensive, timely compliance training, elearning has emerged as a viable solution.
“The advantages of elearning exist in its abilities to be more rapidly adjusted to reflect ever-changing compliance laws and rules,” Cannon said.
In addition, a Learning Management System (LMS) coupled with elearning allows companies to maintain the required proof of participation that is mandated by certain regulatory bodies, such as the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Banker’s Academy is part of a growing industry dedicated to providing comprehensive compliance solutions by utilizing an LMS and elearning geared toward the financial industry.
“Since MSBs are unique, Banker’s Academy focuses on ensuring that all staff are aware of their compliance guidelines and the industry-specific regulations that impact their business,” according to Heather Maurone, senior director of sales and marketing at Banker’s Academy.
For more information regarding Banker’s Academy’s comprehensive compliance-oriented catalogue, visit www.bankersacademy.com.
About Banker’s Academy:
With 25+ years of experience and over 2,500 clients, Banker’s Academy is the leading global provider of training solutions to the financial services industry, with a focus on banks, credit unions, mortgage companies and money service businesses. We’re a partner you can count on to help you achieve your business goals. For more information, call 888-433-2666, +1.215.542.6900, or go to www.bankersacademy.com