Financial services compliance: 9 Top Tips for 2019


Richard Rattue, Managing Director, Compli-Serve SA

As some will know I typically issue some compliance “tips” annually, and I once again lay these out below. As with the previous years, they are in no particular order of importance and I remind you that my tips come with no implied warranties and following them will not absolve you, or make you immune from client complaints and/or regulatory sanctions; however, I can say that by taking my tips to heart and acting thereupon, you should reduce the compliance risk in your business, so here goes.

Stay up to date with the tech

Those who don’t adapt their business to take advantage of FinTech developments will likely fall behind in the future. The marketplace is evolving into a “digital first” space, and financial services is no exception and we all need to be on the train. Rapid advancements in technology promise us that we will be working smarter and faster than ever before!

Stay in touch with RDR

The acronym that continues to cause confusion; don’t let boredom or frustration with the process of finalising the RDR get to you – complacency is not the answer. Big shifts are coming and while potential measures are up for discussion, though somewhat puzzling and still pending, it is best to be kept informed along the way.

Don’t make knee jerk changes

More details on some of the key RDR proposals are expected from the Regulator, so don’t make any rash decisions within your business unless they really are futureproofed.  A lot more will come to light as the year progresses, but I do encourage exercising patience.

Are you properly fit?

The revised Fit and Proper requirements of BN 194 are complex and are something we should all be well aware of going forward.

‘C’ is for conduct

Principles- and outcomes-based practices are in as we move to a conduct-based regulatory regime, likely translating into big shifts in how we’ll report to the Regulator as Conduct of Business Reports are set to replace the current tick box approach in 2019. Consult your compliance officer about this new approach and make sure you are ready in time.


Three important words: Market Conduct Risk – it’s crucial you understand how this affects your business. Any risk management plan in the new year should include this up front.   

Count your CPDs

While you might drag your heels, CPDs are essential for the betterment of the industry, and compulsory. Collect yours where it counts, such as on portals like CompliNEWS and staying in touch with industry events.

FAIS out COFI in

We are moving to a brave new world under the Conduct of Financial Institutions Act and entering a world where Board Notices and rules will be replaced by Standards. Sector specific legislation will disappear over time as the FSCA knocks down the current silos. 

Don’t be among the ill-advised

With the myriad of regulations in play and those to come, it can be difficult to keep up and compliant. Seek professional compliance advice to avoid unnecessary complications – it isn’t worth the risk not to. Most compliance officers are members of CISA ( or their licences and services are verifiable on the FSCA website.

This is going to be an interesting year, particularly in terms of the RDR and the technology space.

Put your best foot forward for a fruitful and compliance-fit year ahead.