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Complinet Survey Reveals Lack of Confidence in Corporate Policies and Policy Manuals

One in six financial services professionals believes their institution’s compliance policies are out of date; 20% admit to never reading their organisation’s policy manuals

A significant percentage of financial services professionals currently do not read their institution’s policy manuals and are not fully aware of corporate policies and procedures, according to a new survey of over 550 financial services professionals working in London and New York.

The survey was conducted in June 2007 by Complinet, a provider of compliance intelligence to industry professionals within the highly-regulated global financial services community. The survey comprised professionals working in London and New York financial institutions, and brought to light that many of these professionals potentially place themselves and their organisations at risk by not applying and implementing new policies for those regulatory changes which hold them accountable.

The survey responses revealed that 14% of financial services workers surveyed were not confident that their organisation’s policies were up to date with the most recent regulatory changes. In addition, nearly 15% of respondents admitted they did not read their institution’s policies regularly, and 20% admitted to never having read their firm’s policy manuals.

Paul Johns, chief marketing officer for Complinet said, “This study confirms what the industry has known for quite some time: financial institutions are lagging in implementing and enforcing new regulatory requirements, and are consequently exposing themselves to the risk of regulatory investigations, fines and other penalties. The fact that so many individuals are not reading their organisation’s policy manuals reflects how they consider these to be out of date and without value. Our findings highlight the need for organisations to adopt new methodologies and alternatives to the old-fashioned paper-based ‘publish and hope’ approach.”

As regulations are modified daily, many financial services institutions are ill-equipped to keep pace with these increasingly frequent changes. Also, without appropriate systems in place, compliance officers do not have an efficient way to keep track of relevant regulatory changes, nor do they have the means to ensure employees remain up to date with changing rules.