NFU News

Press release: Follow-up report on Coping with Compliance

Compliance still affecting the workload but digitalisation can be a helping tool

The Nordic Financial Unions has conducted a follow-up report on the 2018 report Coping with Compliance. The aim of the report is to identify the developments in the field of compliance and to see if coping with compliance is still an issue for finance employees.

In 2018 NFU conducted a report analysing the employee and organisational effects of EU legislative requirements regarding documentation, consumer product information and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) obligations, following the EU regulations on the finance sector after the financial crisis in 2008. The report showed how employees in the financial sector were the ones having to cope with these regulatory frameworks, resulting in increased stress levels from a larger workload and higher requirements of documentation. The report also showed conflicts of interest and more work linked to customer relations and KYC.

The 2021 follow-up analysis shows that compliance continues to be a challenge for staff performance and well-being. Informants could identify with the key findings of the 2018 survey. At the same time, the 2021 analysis shows that conditions have improved from 2018 to 2021. Digitalisation and automation of compliance work has helped decreasing the documentation and workload. The informants also report that there is a greater understanding from customers when it comes to KYC, linking this to media stories on money laundering and fraud, highlighting the importance of security.

Despite the fact that there has been some improvements during the last years, there are still some challenges for employees connected to compliance work and the workload continues to be on a high level. The report also shows that, even though many celebrate the development of digital and automated tools, some employees also see the digitalisation as a threat.

The report shows that compliance continues to be play a big role in the industry, but this report also shows that employee have different coping mechanisms to deal with compliance. The focus has now shifted from the actual regulation to how companies and employers make sure that employees can cope with it. We are not against regulation, we are stressing the need for skills, training, and resources for employees to be able to carry out the compliance work, says Carin Hallerström, General Secretary at NFU.

The report shows that employees tend to use different coping mechanisms connected to workload and digitalisation. Some try to do what is possible during working hours and rely on the managers to prioritize, while some cope with the large workload by working longer hours. Looking at digitalisation, some embrace the new technology and see it as a help, while some see it as a threat to their job and might even leave the sector as an effect.

Compliance work is a good example on the pace in the development of digitalisation in the financial sector. It is very clear from the report that companies must invest in skills and training for their employees to measure up, says Simon Jernberg, Policy Advisor at NFU.

Even though it is positive to see that many in the study say that things have developed to the better during the last years, it is still worrying that finance employees feel that the workload connected to compliance is difficult to cope with and clearly something that trade unions and companies need to address further. The digitalisation of compliance and regulatory work, highlighted with the large development within regtech, raises questions on how finance employees are coping with digitalisation.

The report has been conducted by external consultants from CPH Learning.

 

The report will be published at a webinar with the researchers on the 25 October 12.00 (CET). If you would like to follow the launch event, please email your interest to Simon Jernberg at NFU sje@nordicfinancialunions.org

The publication will be published at the NFU website www.nordicfinancialunions.org. The recording of the webinar will be made available at NFU’s website.

The 2018 report can be read here: NFU-study_Coping-with-Compliance.pdf (nordicfinancialunions.org)

For further information and comments:

Policy Advisor, Simon Jernberg sje@nordicfinancialunions.org +46 73 082 27 67

General Secretary, Carin Hallerström cha@nordicfinancialunions.org,

+46 76 144 34 57

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