The Pace of Change in Compliance

ABA SVP Ryan Rasske is responsible for managing the strategic direction of ABA’s product and delivery channels for the risk management and compliance functions within banks. This includes anticipating industry needs, addressing new marketing opportunities and providing high-quality educational opportunities to ABA members. In this Q&A, he provides his perspective on trends facing compliance professionals.

Ryan Rasske

Q Can you describe the current state of the industry?

A Today’s compliance environment is experiencing unique opportunities and challenges. How successfully these challenges are met will have a significant impact on compliance professionals in the future. With the accelerating pace of change, it is increasingly difficult to keep up with the growing risks and the ripple of complexities that affect different products and services. This challenge has been compounded by a lack of access to available technological resources and innovative solutions for those hoping to improve efficiencies, analyze additional data points or simply keep pace with expectations.

Additionally, there is no shortage of distractions competing for compliance officers’ time, attention and resources. While this is nothing new, it could make it challenging for compliance professionals to successfully execute their core mission.

Q How has regtech changed what was being done in compliance risk management for banks?

A New regulatory technology has provided institutions with the ability to enhance compliance monitoring and reporting by using tools such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, complex analytics, pattern recognition and virtual assistance robots to analyze risk. This is a tremendous technological leap from traditional data tracking on Excel or manual review of compliance documentation.

The goal? To lower overall compliance costs while diving deeper into areas inaccessible in the past. These technology advances have encouraged bank compliance professionals and regulators to begin thinking “outside the box” about how things can and should be done. We have just started to see these innovative conversations take off and look forward to the benefits of group collaboration.

Q Since technology is evolving so rapidly, what do you see on the horizon for banks and those working in the compliance area?

A There are several areas that banks and compliance professionals will need to focus on in the midst of this rapid technological evolution, including:

  • Continuously updating and enhancing the management process to ensure that it remains proactive and transparent. This includes strong collaboration, expectation setting, and implementation.
  • We can also expect alignment across banks’ three lines of defense, with specific focus on clarifying roles and accountability especially during times of failure.
  • Greater use of analytics to drive, support and defend decision-making.
Q What skills should a bank compliance professional have to be prepared for future challenges?

A Today’s compliance officer is already an accomplished professional with the ability to understand complex regulations. As the banking environment continues to evolve, there will be other areas where compliance knowledge may need to be updated and enhanced, including:

  • Critical thinking and communication skills that include the ability to understand and solve complex problems, while communicating with a wide variety of audiences.
  • Increased proficiency with data ecosystems in order to more accurately evaluate key findings and detailed compliance reports.
  • Greater understanding of the impact and effectiveness of a wide range of new banking innovations from the cloud to chatbots to digital assistants.
  • Finally, the ability to analyze the privacy impact and far-reaching consumer compliance concerns that accompany a growing digital marketplace.