Hybrid working has become a permanent working model for many businesses over the past three years. It forced firms to adapt quickly and has since changed the way people view their work-life balance. However, there are some mixed opinions on how this approach affects the compliance space.
I spoke to five compliance professionals across financial services in Singapore who shared their insights on how the compliance market has evolved over the past three years, given new hybrid working arrangements and global developments.
COVID and the rise of hybrid work arrangements have changed the way we think about things. As the financial sector has a global workforce, there is a desire to be able to work back in other jurisdictions. Navigating what is permitted, in terms of having colleagues in a foreign jurisdiction where we are not licensed, and having to ensure our controls are adapted to fit working from home (e.g., rules on communications) are some examples of how this has impacted us. Working from home arrangements require a stronger compliance culture, as the “compliance policeman” is not in the same venue. What I think we have lost, is the ability to walk to someone’s desk to discuss an issue. You feel a bit more restrained when trying to speak to someone working from home and have to message them to see if they are available, and a lot of the energy and spontaneity is lost. Hybrid working gives more flexibility to the workforce, but there is still a strong case for in-person collaboration. -Benjamin Ma, Managing Director, Graticule Asset Management Asia
The pandemic has changed the way people view work and family priorities. Many now seek out companies that offer hybrid working arrangements as they put more weight on their ability to control their lives and how they live and work. I believe this is a trend that will continue and get stronger, and a 4-day work week is the next goal for organisations that want to be seen to be progressive and attract and retain talents. - Managing Director, Group Compliance, Regional Bank
Depends on the function and location of the function. Most functions have adapted to hybrid work arrangements. However, challenges may exist for new joiners without experience from a training perspective. Adoption of technology appears to be faster. - Regional Financial Crime Director, Anti-Financial Crime certification organisation
The Covid pandemic did demonstrate that, to a large extent, Compliance work could be performed virtually without too much disruption. The hybrid work model is probably here to stay. We have seen a number of firms adopt a hybrid work model to provide some level of flexibility for their employees without disruption to business operations. Nonetheless, a hybrid work model does blur the lines between corporate time and personal space. This is where firms and employees alike have to learn to manage the expectations and needs of the business, implement appropriate controls to safeguard confidential information, and at the same time, be mindful of the mental well-being of their employees. - Regional Compliance Director, International banking and financial services company
As the world becomes increasingly borderless, Compliance needs to consider related risks, which include, but are not limited to, permanent establishment, licensing exposure, online marketing & solicitation, and outsourcing. - Senior Legal & Compliance Director, International Fintech organisation
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