When organisations go through a process of growth, whichever industry they operate in, one of the biggest challenges they are faced with is being able to ensure consistency in their business practices. Whether it is their systems, rules and regulations, or simply maintaining standards, the implementation and overall management of these functions can prove to be very difficult.
“The bank underestimated some of the challenges presented by its numerous acquisitions, and despite efforts to meet these challenges; we were not always able to keep up,”
The words of David Bagley as he stood down from his post as Head of Group Compliance at HSBC Holdings after it emerged that the British bank had exposed the US to billions of dollars worth of money laundering, drug trafficking, and terrorist financing.
As demonstrated in the case of HSBC whose growth accelerated rapidly through acquisitions, the problems began because operations of some of those new acquisitions fell far short of HSBC’s own compliance standards and expectations.
The implementation of a system, such as MetaCompliance Policy Management Software, would allow organisations to adopt a unified approach towards compliance and help them to maintain the standards which they are judged against.
The risk to an organisation for breaches and non-compliance extends beyond just monetary sanctions, but to reputational damage, which can prove to be more costly than any financial loss. Public perception towards bankers is already at its lowest ebb, therefore evidence of a lapse attitude towards a subject as important as compliance does little to restore the faith.
At a time where organisations are having their Governance, Risk and Compliance standards scrutinised more than ever, can growth be used as a defence for sub-standard or diminishing GRC practices?