As a broker operating in the mortgage industry it is important for you to ensure you are providing a great service within the regulations. This is a basic expectation of you as a professional in the industry, however, it can sometimes be quite tricky to stay up-to-date and therefore you put yourself and your company at risk.
The pressure of remaining compliant with regulations is of vital importance, and should never be seen as a burden as it reflects heavily on the business in the eyes of regulators and consumers. With this in mind, it is important to understand what the benefits are of performing regular compliance testing so you can make it a priority. Our team has gathered a few key benefits to kickstart the process:
Prevent the loss of your licence
Your broking licence is your key to the industry. It is the one document that allows you to perform the service you specialise in, and if you lose it you lose that ability. Providing services that are up to regulation is a requirement of being granted a broking licence, and therefore by default should be a priority. If you are audited by regulators and they find you to not be performing to regulation your licence will be in danger, and furthermore, you may also face large fines or jail time.
Ensuring you’re providing the best service possible
While the regulations are in place to ensure brokers are performing to standard, the purpose behind them is to ensure a lawful and ethical service is being provided to all Australians. At the end of the day, consumers are at the heart of all businesses and if you aren’t providing your service at a high standard then you are doing a disservice to your customers. By performing regular compliance testing you will have a better handle of service quality and don’t risk tarnishing your reputation.
One recommendation ASIC suggests to get a handle on your compliance is to assign the role of recording compliance to a trusted individual/s such as a director or senior employee. Once someone is given this responsibility there is someone who is expected to pay close attention to remaining compliant, who can be held accountable and can hold other people accountable. Without the ability to hold people accountable, the task of remaining compliant becomes less of a priority with no one taking the responsibility. If someone is tasked with this job then they can ensure all departments and individuals are performing to regulation, and if audited, can easily and confidently demonstrate compliance on behalf of the company.
Always be prepared for an audit
Compliance testing and reporting can be time consuming, and this is where some companies find issue. However, it is compulsory and can become even more time consuming if not prepared when an audit does occur. It is easier to perform regular compliance testing and have re-assurance everything is up to par, rather than being surprised with an audit and having to scramble to demonstrate to the regulators that you’re compliant. Regular compliance testing gives peace of mind, and makes the entire process easier.
Demonstrating dedication to ethics to regulators
ASIC and regulators exist to hold brokers to account for their service quality to the benefit of all parties. The entire purpose of compliance is to check brokers are behaving as they are expected to by standard. So if your company is ethical and regulation-ready, then all the regulators are asking for is proof. If you put the time aside to perform regular compliance testing, to plan for potential issues and report on your efforts then your company should have no issues. If you have a paper trail for your efforts to remain compliant, to be ready if an issue does arise, and can demonstrate consistent dedication, you indicate that you are not a concern and make it easier for regulators. If effort is inconsistent you just raise red flags and it is the duty of regulators to look deeper even if you are regulation ready, which reduces regulators confidence in you and causes more stress for your company.
Regular compliance testing should be a priority in any broking company if not for their own protection, then for their customers experience. Reputation is important, and if care is taken to ensure your reputation is favorable then it results in more business. So start making compliance a priority. Put aside the time, give someone the responsibility of managing it, or if time is short and you’re struggling to record it effectively, then find a tool to help. QED offers a helpful tool called QED CompliFast, focused on making regular compliance testing easier, by doing a lot of the hard work for you. There is no excuse to let compliance take a back seat, so make sure you are regulation-ready today.