lack of support

Posted By: Anonymous

lack of support - 04/27/09 01:22 PM

I'm struggling with a lack of support, direction and resources in my role as compliance officer. Judging from other posts this is a common theme with compliance officers. On numerous occasions I have mentioned this to my supervisor (the president). I've had a couple of Board members ask me if I am getting the support I need. If I tell them the truth it will probably be the end of my job. If I don't say anything, I'm certain I'll get blamed once the examiners show up. I think I'm in a no win situation and should cut my losses now, taking this as a learning experience for down the road. Thoughts?
Posted By: Dallas Fan

Re: lack of support - 04/27/09 03:49 PM

If you intend to stay on as Compliance Officer it is crucial that the Board know that management is not supporting you. You are correct in noting that if you don't say anything you will be blamed once the examiners show up. Documenting and retaining your recomendations to management is extremely important. CYA!

There are also whistle blower statutes that protect employees in certain situations. If you were fired for bringing up items that need to be addressed you could very well make a case that the company retaliated against you for blowing the whistle on them. Consult an attorney if you get fired.

However, it seems like the Board members are giving you an out by asking you about the kind of support you are receiving. I would tell them whatever needs to be said and let the chips fall where they may. Good Luck!
Posted By: Mint Julep

Re: lack of support - 04/27/09 09:38 PM

Maybe the board members are asking because they are already aware and just need your confirmation?

On the other hand, I would not be able to work anyplace where I thought telling the truth would get me fired.
Posted By: Richard Insley

Re: lack of support - 04/27/09 10:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Anonymous
I'm struggling with a lack of ...direction....

I don't mean to be rude, but I do mean to be blunt.

If you don't know what to do, then you must move quickly or you are the problem. When you were put into this position, was there a realistic job description? Did your predecessor have a business plan? If you were expected to grow into the position's qualifications through schools and other forms of study, have these things occurred? How long's it been since your bank had a qualified assessment (regulators or consultants) of its compliance management program? Did that assessment point out weaknesses & are they being eliminated?

If you're floundering, the bank's racking up exposure to penalties and costly corrective actions. If you're confident you have the knowledge and experience to get things under control, then your real concern is resources and authority. These are someone else's problem--you just need to make lots of noise. What ever you do, don't blindside your boss. S/he should be a party to any serious discussions about progress or a lack thereof.
Posted By: BrendaC

Re: lack of support - 04/28/09 01:29 PM

I think I would start by reducing my compliance program to writing, including identified gaps and suggestions for corrective actions. I would present with an expectation of support. If (or maybe that should be when) I am shot down, then I would attempt to have an honest discussion about my responsibilities and goals - to protect the bank from regulatory criticism (including protecting senior management and the board), to improve efficiencies through better education and resources, etc.

If the negativity continued, I would take the discussion to the Board. Will it work? Maybe, maybe not. But you can hold your head high that you knew your job and gave your 100%.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: lack of support - 04/28/09 05:09 PM

(original poster) There are a several interesting responses here. Can't reveal too much without giving myself away. After reflecting on things a little more and reading through these comments I think that that the struggle is trying to iron out exactly what the compliance role is (new position for the bank but not for me). What I think it is and what management thinks it is are two different things. I tend to look at what is in writing, job description, compliance policy, etc. Some of the duties I have been given don't match up with the job description. When I've tried to discuss it has caused problems.
Posted By: Fallgirl

Re: lack of support - 04/28/09 05:27 PM

I was having a similar problem when I first joined the bank I am at now. The compliance role here was somewhat new (three years) and I was the 3rd compliance officer they had. Somehow the first two ended up taking on retail responsibilities in addition to compliance. Obviously this was too much responsibility and the compliance part was pushed aside. I have no desire to be a retail manager nor do I really have the aptitude. My skills are for compliance/audit so I had a meeting with management to discuss my concerns. It went well and now everyone is on the same page regarding the function of audit. I still wear many hats, but at least its more compliance/audit related hats. I still have questions that are outside of my job function, but now I am comfortable giving my opinion and letting management make the decision regarding what should be done. I had no problem leaving if things were not addressed after discussing them with management. Depending on where you are, I'm assuming there is a demand for good compliance officers.