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“What can you tell us about the company?” is a question that comes up frequently in interviews. You won’t be expected to know everything about the organisation that you have applied to work for, but it could reflect very poorly on you if you are unable show a basic understanding of what the company does. Make sure you’ve had a thorough read through of the company’s website in detail, including the About Us section. Showing that you have read up on the company, including its history and recent news, exhibits a willingness to understand the company’s strategies, culture and values, and will hopefully stop any awkward silences when they ask you about the firm. Use your recruitment contact to also assist you with knowledge around the team, product development and focus and structure of the firm. We always share information and insider knowledge we have through the connections we have.
And don’t forget to brush up on the latest regulatory news and legislative reforms. There may be something which has been recently reported on that could have an impact on the company, so showing some knowledge of wider compliance issues will position you strongly.
It also makes sense to fully get a grasp of the role. You should have been given a detailed job spec that gives an idea of the specific responsibilities and where it fits within the wider structure of the business. Read through it carefully and try to find examples of your skills and experience that match the points within the job spec. Risk and Compliance roles can be very technical, so making sure you have examples of your specific technical experience pre-prepared can relieve the pressure of trying to remember them when in the room.
Think of the different skills and behaviours that this specific role will need for someone to succeed and research them further. Have they produced any reports which includes their Key Risk Indicators? Do you know anyone that works there that can give you some insight to their Compliance or Conduct Risk framework? Can you highlight some issues that the Risk team may be facing or will be in the future? Placing the specifics of the role in to a wider Risk or Compliance context may well give you the edge in an interview, so make use of search engines, reports, magazines and journals to stay up-to-date. Also consider who you know that works at the firm or used to work at the firm and could give at least some information.
At MERJE we always try to provide as much information on the background of the interviewers as we can prior to the interview. This is so that our Candidates can use resources like LinkedIn to research them beforehand. Finding out their job title and how long they have been at the company can help with preparation – for instance if you are applying for a Risk Manager role and the Head of Risk is interviewing you, you might want to spend time beforehand considering the functions of the Risk team as this may well be a talking point, whereas if you are meeting an MD or HR team member there may be more of a focus on the company as a whole.
Risk and Compliance roles deal with complex situations so highlighting that you are not afraid to find out more on a subject in order to fully understand it may well work in your favour. So as part of your preparation try to come up with five questions to fill in any gaps you have. Maybe you can ask about how your time will be split between certain responsibilities, what IT platforms they use, what the team structure is, how different offices work together, or how they see the role evolving over time. Are there any new frameworks or legislation which you’ve read about in your preparation that might have an impact on the team?
Asking questions shows that you want to know more about the role and its place within the company, but try to steer clear of negative ones, such as why the previous holder of the role is leaving, or asking too many so the focus doesn’t switch from you.
The expectations of a Compliance & Risk specialist have changed significantly over the years – as the roles in these areas started out, they were more of a box-ticking exercise, and however they have developed into much more of an engagement/advisory type remit. Therefore, interviewers want to see your personal traits come through during the interview. Personality now comes to the forefront as the teams are expected to deal with many other areas throughout the business. You will need to show your personality during the interview to prove that you can not only do the tasks that make up the role, but also work well with others.
As such, the interviewer will want to know that YOU are right for the role. As a recruiter in the Risk and Compliance area, it’s not just the bullet points on the CV we pay attention to, it’s also the Candidate themselves. This cultural fit is just as important (if not more so) when placing Candidates these days – a failure to match the right person to the right company could lead to issues down the road. We need to be confident that their personality and approach to work will slot in well with the potential firm.
This is why you should be yourself when you are being interviewed. Stay professional, but also open and approachable so the interviewers can be certain that you are a good choice. It may just give the edge over equally skilled Candidates who may not have the desired personality fit.
The biggest barrier we normally run into is the fact that many of the regulations are not prescriptive in terms of the solutions that are considered adequate. This lack of definition oftentimes results into a generalized hesitancy to do something new until it’s known more broadly to be accepted by regulators. But it is imperative for FIs to be on the leading edge if they want to reap the benefit of topline growth. The key takeaway is that initial tests from top banks have happened, they have succeeded, and as a business, they are expanding and using our solutions for that expansion. Willing to take risks and go with more efficient, superior solutions, more quickly, is a huge differentiator for financial institutions, especially when it comes to adding value by optimizing customer acquisition and onboarding.
Additionally, financial services providers normally perceive budget as one of the main barriers to RegTech adoption. The reality is that, if you look at the astronomical investment that financial institutions need to make to be in compliance, utilizing RegTech solutions should result into net efficiencies instead of added costs. In other words, despite being perceived as a barrier, investing in RegTech solutions actually generates a positive outcome.
At Mitek we firmly believe that collaboration is the cornerstone of success. RegTech should ultimately be leveraged to reduce compliance costs for financial firms while allowing regulators to better ensure compliance and successfully achieve their policy goals. The rapid pace at which regulation change and extend their scope presents an important source of struggles for regulatory bodies, as it keeps getting more difficult for them to keep up with their mandates. Fostering collaboration will not only be beneficial for both RegTech providers and financial institutions, but also for regulators, as open communication and collaboration should be utilized to assess and improve current little contextualized and articulated regulations, which come with huge effort and cost and that hardly help achieve the desired outcomes.
We are also starting to see a willingness to consume more cloud services in order to accelerate innovation through smarter data sharing. There is a growing number of our customers willing to share more data with us so we can help them better achieve their goals. Collaboration is paramount to accelerate innovation and service consumers more efficiently. Take Mitek as an example; we’re specialists in handling PII and identity documents and our customers know that, trusting us with this piece of the puzzle so they can focus on their key business and strategic priorities. We are starting to notice a change of trend towards a greater trust between FIs and RegTech providers; a shift of paradigm from customers-vendors to partners. Creating this type of relationship accelerates innovation and boosts FIs’ ability to serve their customers more efficiently.
I see regulations as catalysts rather than deterrents for innovation. Regulations encourage institutions and their RegTech providers to find ways to ensure compliance is met, but also to deliver better user experiences, more automation, and more accurate and better outcomes for consumers. Regulations present both challenges and opportunities. Take the latest European Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD4) for example, which increases the required frequency and scope of essential Know Your Customer (KYC) checks performed by banks and other financial institutions, resulting in further inflated operational costs.
On the other hand, the amended AMLD4 suggests using government-backed eID schemes, such as GOV.UK Verify, to improve KYC processes. Nevertheless, as most eID schemes are not expected to be ready for some time, this same piece of regulation recommends advanced mobile technology to bridge the gap. And there is where RegTech can move the needle for financial institutions. Financial services providers that partner with RegTech firms to replace inefficient, manual, prone-to-error status quo KYC checks, with cost-efficient, advanced automated solutions such as digital identity verification, can save about £47 million a year while meeting today consumer’s demands for speed, security and convenience.
We have reached a tipping point where it’s no longer feasible for banks to keep up with this increasing volume of regulations through manual, very inefficient, and very expensive processes which don’t meet expectations for seamless user journeys. The rise of RegTech is definitely related to the rapid growth of new regulations. The flipping side is that regulatory technology such as ID document verification has really become mature. At Mitek we specialize in leveraging the latest biometrics, deep learning, and AI to solve for identity verification in the digital channel, satisfying that increasing demand to comply with ever-stringent regulations at scale through user friendly, secure cloud platforms and APIs.
Good news is that some important steps have been already taken. In Europe, the upcoming PSD2 will drive more opportunities for collaboration, as its laser-focused at improving the quality of service provided by payments companies and financial institutions by means of more, closer, and more extensive collaboration among regulators, traditional institutions, industry disruptors and technology providers.
Based on our experience with top global financial organizations, it is important to engage with a RegTech provider that is proven and has already been successful. For example, we’re live with one of the top 3 banks in the UK, as well as with the leading banks in The Netherlands. In our experience, banks and other financial services providers tend to start by applying RegTech solutions such as Mitek’s to a given product or account type, normally through one of their subsidiaries. Once they are live, have tested the new technology and seen the first results, then they would extend that technology to other product ranges. Financial institutions need partners they can trust; they need RegTech vendors that are willing to keep a steady stream of engagement with their team, that offers a robust Customer Success program.
The financial services industry is going through a very interesting period of time, defined by exciting technology innovations and new regulatory trends. At a time where RegTech is reaching a tipping point, the agenda of RegTech Summit US goes deep into some of the most compelling trends such as the need of further collaboration between financial institutions and RegTech vendors or the growing demand for more defined regulations that provide prescriptive guidance about adequate and sufficient regulatory technology solutions. solutions regulation solutions vendors. Personally, I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to discuss current challenges and opportunities with peers and to spend time with some of our top customers, learning how we can continue to expand our product offerings to further meet their needs.”
“The panel session gave us a chance to discuss and debate different views from different perspectives; and having a two-way dialogue with the delegates helped to keep the conversation relevant.”