Compliance is important for your business. Hiding is not an option.

The introduction of the FCA within the UK on 1st April 2014 has increased the Compliance requirements for businesses. Whilst the requirements of the various pieces of guiding legislation remain, e.g. Data Protection, Treating Customers Fairly, etc, you must now be prepared to evidence all that you do to ensure your business meets compliance requirements. In addition, Senior Managers are more accountable than ever for the conduct of the business and the results.

Although the requirements of the FCA are specific to businesses operating in the UK, the principles provide a 'best in class' compliance framework for your business regardless of location.

Why you need to comply

Compliance influences every aspect of your business. This ranges from how the business conducts itself in the marketplace and the approach to customers through to how the business is organised internally and what measures are in place to monitor and control the risks in the operations.

Failure to comply is not an option. Industry regulators are more determined than ever to use their powers to drive out poor practice in the banking and finance industry and increasingly severe consequences for breaching compliance requirements can include financial penalties, compensation payments to customers, or loss of licence.

“The key difference between the future and now is we are being given the power to shoot first and ask questions later”

Martin Wheatley, Chief Executive Officer, FCA

Compliance requirements in the UK and Ireland

Click to reveal more information on each topic.

Data Protection

A business must ensure that they operate in accordance with the 8 Data Protection Act principles. These principles govern the storage, use, accuracy, and transmission of data.

The eight “Data Protection Principles” specify that personal data must be:

1. Processed fairly and lawfully.
2. Obtained for specified and lawful purposes.
3. Adequate, relevant and not excessive.
4. Accurate and up to date.
5. Not kept any longer than necessary.
6. Processed in accordance with the “data subject’s” (the individual’s) rights.
7. Securely kept.
8. Not transferred to any other country without adequate protection in situ.

Financial Conduct Authority

Introduced on 1st April 2014. A business must be prepared to evidence all that it does to ensure it meets compliance requirements. In addition, Senior Managers are more accountable than ever for the conduct of the business and the results.

Payment Card Industry / Data Security Standards

Outlines the requirements to ensure the security of customer payment card data. Applies to all businesses using card date either online or offline.

Treating Customers Fairly

The 6 outcomes of TCF are designed to ensure that the well-being of customers is at the heart of how a business conducts itself in the market place.

The 6 “Treating Customers Fairly” principles require an FCA regulated business to adhere to the following:

Outcome 1: Consumers can be confident that they are dealing with firms where the fair treatment of customers is central to the corporate culture.

Outcome 2: Products and services marketed and sold in the retail market are designed to meet the needs of identified consumer groups and are targeted accordingly.

Outcome 3: Consumers are provided with clear information and are kept appropriately informed before, during and after the point of sale.

Outcome 4: Where consumers receive advice, the advice is suitable and takes account of their circumstances.

Outcome 5: Consumers are provided with products that perform as firms have led them to expect, and the associated service is of an acceptable standard and as they have been led to expect.

Outcome 6: Consumers do not face unreasonable post-sale barriers imposed by firms to change product, switch provider, submit a claim or make a complaint.

Code of Conduct Mortgage on Mortgage Arrears (Ireland)

Sets out requirements for mortgage lenders dealing with borrowers facing or in mortgage arrears. Ensures lenders operate in a fair and transparent manner and seek to implement long term solutions for borrowers.

Consumer Protection Code (Ireland)

Introduced to ensure a consistent level of protection for consumers regardless of the type of financial services provider they choose.

So how can Athena help you?

Compliance Health Check

Athena's Compliance Heath Check will examine every aspect of your business to determine the current level of compliance within your operations.

We can further support your business by recommending the changes and enhancements you need to make to ensure you meet compliance requirements, and we can support the implementation of any improvement actions.

Our Health Check process is tried and tested. The Case Study attached shows the process that was followed for a client and the results of our work.

Training & Development

Athena has developed a number of modules to give your staff an understanding of the skills and knowledge they need to develop to enshrine a compliance ethos in their daily tasks.

Visit our Training & Development page to see how Athena can develop your staff and help to unlock their potential.

Regular Check Up

In addition to our Compliance Health Check service we can regularly assess your business' level of compliance and we can continue to guide you on your responses to the ever-evolving compliance requirements.

Compliance Knowledge

'Best practice' guidance recommends that your Compliance and Audit functions be independent of Operations. For many small & medium-sized companies this is cost-prohibitive as staff are required to provide a range of roles across a number of disciplines.

Athena can operate as your Compliance & Audit function allowing you to maximise your staff time on the business functions that drive your profits.

Why use Athena

Athena understands the challenges to your business to meet compliance requirements and has a range of services available to support you and your managers. Athena has a team of multi-disciplined SMEs experienced across a number of industries and has a demonstrable track record of having delivered real benefits for clients.