Your compliance checklist for Retail Finance

The Retail Finance industry, like many regulated sectors undergo necessary regulations in order to protect the sector from financial crime. Due to the fluctuating nature of the market, keeping on top of compliance can become difficult especially when done manually, increasing the risk of fines from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

With that in mind, AML and Retail Finance expert Jade Kirk has put together a compliance checklist, to help you ensure your business stays AML compliant in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

1.       Are your customer records up to date?

The most important thing to check is that your customer database is up to date. This means ensuring that all new clients are verified and screened at onboarding, then uploaded to the system and monitored on a daily basis, you must also ensure that all current clients’ details are up to date. If you are concerned that your database and customer monitoring system is not capturing all clients, don’t worry. The SmartSearch batch upload service can retrospectively run AML checks, upload the results and then regularly monitor the details of all your clients, to ensure a clean and compliant position.

2.       Does your database need cleansing?

While ensuring your customer database is up to date and audit-ready is vital to ensure compliance, it is also important that you are not paying to monitor the details of clients you no longer work with. The start of the year is the perfect time to cleanse your customer records to ensure your processes are as efficient as they can be. SmartSearch not only offers customer monitoring as part of its AML checking service but can also offer a bulk ‘switch off’ on monitoring too. This ensures you are not wasting resources monitoring clients you no longer work with, while also guaranteeing the client record is kept on file for the required time period.

3.       Are all your offices using the same system?

When it comes to AML procedures, it is much easier to maintain a clean and compliant position if all your offices are using the same system. SmartSearch is a secure, cloud-based platform that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime, from any device. This means that if you use SmartSearch for your verification, screening, and monitoring needs, all your offices can be linked to the same database. Staff can then run searches on clients from anywhere in the world across all office and home working environments. All results are hosted centrally, with any updates automatically seen and accessible by all users enabling senior compliance officers to keep a ‘watching brief’ across the entire database.

4.       Do you have international capabilities?

As our ability to transact online grows, it opens up huge opportunities for businesses to more easily become international. But this can cause issues when it comes to compliance. At SmartSearch, we understand that you do want the ability to onboard clients from outside the UK to aid your business growth, which is why, if you use SmartSearch for your AML you will automatically be able to identify, verify, screen and monitor individual and corporate clients from anywhere in the world using the same system.

5.       Are you accurately tracking your compliance spending?

If you are a SmartSearch customer, you can use our audit reports service to see all your spending broken down into a monthly report which can help you keep on top of your budget, whether that be to avoid an overspend or to ensure you are using any remaining credit efficiently. Audit reports can also help you to accurately budget your AML spend, and - if you charge back to your clients - can help with invoicing too.

Get ready now

With the pandemic still impacting our personal and business lives, creating uncertainty both politically and financially, business owners have enough to worry about without adding compliance to the list. At SmartSearch, we want to make it as easy as possible for Retail Finance firms to meet their AML requirements and hope our compliance checklist has been useful in helping you think about what you need to do to get your compliance in order.

If you are not yet a SmartSearch customer, contact us today to find out how our easy-to-use electronic verification platform can help you get compliant and stay compliant, saving you time, money and an awful lot of stress.

Jade Kirk
by Jade Kirk

Enterprise Business Development Manager

See more articles by Jade Kirk
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