• Why should a firm consider using a compliance consultant?

    We have found that many firms benefit from the experience and expertise we bring, and our ability to focus on the impact of regulation on a firm’s business, particularly as it changes over time. Having our assistance enables firms to focus on the service they provide to their clients safe in the knowledge that their procedures are up to date and that they are complying with the regulatory rules.

    How do I go about choosing a compliance consultancy firm?

    If you are thinking about engaging a compliance consultant there are three key areas to consider:
    • establishing your needs
    • appointing and monitoring your consultant; and
    • acting on the recommendations given.
    The FCA has provided some helpful guidance on using a compliance consultant on their website at http://www.fca.org.uk/firms/being-regulated/meeting-your-obligations/using-external-support/compliance-consult

    What geographical area does Trading Compliance Limited cover?

    Although based in London we have experience with many of the international regulatory bodies and have carried out assignments throughout Europe and in Australasia and have a network of affiliate partners we can use where necessary.

    If we appoint Trading Compliance Limited as our compliance consultants, will we be dealing with a different person every time we need advice or have a visit from you?

    We are deliberately a specialist firm and work as a team to utilise specific expertise in different aspects of a firm’s business so that we can deliver the highest quality of service. This means that although we will generally give you one main point of contact you may well see other technical officers for certain tasks. This also means that all of our principals and senior officers are kept up to date with the latest position of each firm and ensures we can cover your business needs 365 days a year.

    Financial services regulation is now very technical and demanding yet it still continues to grow ever more complex. How can you guarantee that you always have the right answers?

    We make every effort to be completely up to date with new rules and regulations including having regular contact with the regulators themselves in order to obtain an insight as to their own interpretation of the rules and regulation and what topics that they are planning to focus on.

    Is having to deal with all the complexities and costs of regulation worth it in the end?

    Financial services has been regulated in the UK since the mid 1980’s and the UK is seen as having one of the highest standards of business in the world which therefore attracts a huge amount of international business to firms operating here. It also means that regulation is having to catch up worldwide with other countries adopting similar regulations and rules to the UK. So firms that embrace regulation can operate with the highest badge of approval and enhance their business. In addition, regulation is fundamentally all about business running properly with good corporate oversight and internal controls which greatly enhances the viability of firms and helps them operate more effectively.

    Surely your principals and staff can’t be experts in every field?

    All our principals have had years of experience in regulation on both sides of the relationship. We have a good understanding of all areas of regulation, but have specific expertise in securities and derivatives trading including forex, CFDs and spreads, investment managers, payments services and e-money. Importantly, we have all worked extensively within industry firms themselves and therefore have a good understanding of business and the products of our firms and the problems and complexities of dealing with regulation from the industry viewpoint.

    We don’t fully understand all of the compliance requirements. How do we know your consultants won’t take advantage of this to obtain more work from us?

    Trading Compliance Limited has built up solid and long lasting relationships with clients based on our giving a top rate and cost effective service. There is enough regulation without having to ‘invent’ issues and we firmly believe that to develop such long term client relationships it can only be achieved if we are honest and open with our clients. If we feel that a client will not benefit from a particular service from us – we tell them. More often than not they will tend to retain us for periodic consultancy anyway or they come back to us in the future.

    How long does it take to get authorised?

    We work closely with our clients to ensure that the business plan and application is well-written and presented before it goes in to the Authorisations Department, and that senior staff are identified and ownership structures transparent. These factors will ensure that the application has every chance of success and we will not lodge an application until we feel it is 100% ready. One of the main delays in getting a new firm authorised is the time it takes to get allocated a Case Officer. Once a Case Officer has been allocated, we will establish regular contact and deal with the inevitable queries to ease the application through to approval.

    We don’t want to wait for approval, do you know of any FCA firms for sale?

    From time to time, firms do come up for sale and we have helped clients obtain these. Whether you should consider paying a premium for a firm that is already authorised will depend on how good a fit it is with your intended business model. Also does it come with anything you might need or use such as existing personnel, systems, client base or even tax losses? We often advise clients to start a new application, as seeking permission to change ownership structure and permitted business profile can take almost a long as a new authorisation which has the benefit of a clean operating shell.