Due to the increasing number of people looking to move careers or begin a career in compliance, anti-money laundering and financial crime prevention, we’ve invited some of our members to share their experiences to help our students, practitioners and other like-minded professionals understand the journey and direction they could take throughout their career.
Cathy Lloyd is the Head of Compliance and Deputy Chief Risk Officer for ABN AMRO Ltd based in Guernsey and leads a team of six compliance professionals and also manages the operational risk team. They have a diverse client base providing banking and investment services and follow the three lines of defence model. All of her compliance team already hold an ICA qualification or are just about to complete one.
Lets find out more...
Q: How long have you worked in compliance for? What has changed since you first started to now?
I first started working in compliance in 2011, initially as a secondment. I was working for RBS International as a relationship director and, as part of enhancing my knowledge, I accepted a secondment into the compliance team, initially for 6 months. Fast forward a year and I was given the opportunity to make the role permanent which I gladly accepted as I felt that I still had a lot to learn and can honestly say that I was really enjoying the challenges of the role.
I have seen a subtle difference in the relationship between the front-line and compliance staff - previously compliance were asked to approve or sign off issues whereas now in a three lines of defense model compliance officers provide advice and guidance and the front-line staff own the risk.
I believe that it really helps when compliance professionals understand the business and the challenges that colleagues face. Having been a relationship director I am fully cognizant of the balance between risk and reward and work hard to ensure that commerciality and the client impact is considered alongside compliance issues.
Q: What do you find enjoyable about your role? What are the challenges?
I am fortunate that there is a strong compliance culture at ABN and I really enjoy my role, no two days are ever the same. There are constant challenges, whether it be from new legislation, reviews by the regulator or revised internal policies and compliance is constantly evolving and you need to ensure that you stay ahead of the game.
A continuing challenge is how to streamline and digitise the KYC processes. It is so inefficient with huge duplication across various industries. I think the collaboration between some of the nordic banks to establish a KYC company is a great example and one which I will be watching carefully.
Q: What attributes do you think are important for a career in compliance?
I think integrity is a very important attribute for a career in compliance, you have to do the right thing even when no one is watching. You also need to have strong communication and influencing skills across all different levels of the organization, top down from the board to a new colleague who is just starting their career from school or university.
Q: How do you feel ICA has helped you in your career?
I started with the ICA on the diploma in compliance and gained so much valuable knowledge and experience with the other students that I continued on to the financial crime and anti money laundering diplomas. I love learning so had no hesitation in joining the first cohort of the ICA professional postgraduate diploma in financial crime compliance (FCC). There was a great diverse group of students who had different specialisms and from many different countries and I still keep in regular contact with some of them. I am the only person in the Channel Islands to hold all three diplomas and the postgraduate diploma which I am very proud off.
Q: What advice do you have for fledgling compliance professionals?
My advice would be to obtain a professional qualification - it really sets the baseline and also gives you the opportunity to network with other compliance professionals. It is also important to keep up to date and ensure you are continually learning, the pace of change is so fast so use the various forums to read articles, share ideas and participate.
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