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The banking jobs: Compliance advisor
The Compliance department ensures that all operational systems and employee behaviors within a company are consistent with legislation and codes of ethics. Charles du Granrut, Compliance Advisor at BNP Paribas, explains the nuts and bolts of this cross-functional department, which places him at the center of the bank’s various businesses.
What do you do at BNP Paribas?
Within the Market Integrity field, I monitor compliance in the areas of Domestic Markets and International Financial Services. Together with the dedicated compliance officers within these entities, I monitor the established system to ensure compliance with codes of ethics, including combating market abuses, conflicts of interests, etc. This involves drafting procedures, helping to define monitoring plans, supporting business units and local entities, and supporting the management of specific compliance projects, such as launching websites to inform our customers about our policy for managing conflicts of interest. Currently, I’m working to implement a code of conduct that will govern transactions on currency exchange markets for our various business units.
What is the process for drafting compliance procedures?It takes place over several steps and requires both expert knowledge and communication skills. First, we need to familiarize ourselves with all the regulations that need to appear in the document. During the writing phase, we work with the people who are likely to be affected by the procedure, in order to account for the realities on the ground.
Next, our team ensures the procedure is applied within the entity. To that end, we organize training sessions so teams can understand the text and ask any questions they might have about how to implement the recommendations in real situations. For example, we recently drafted a procedure on how to conduct surveys of investors when issuing a new security on the market.
In your opinion, what’s the hardest part of your job?
The fact that it touches on several different sectors and areas of expertise. Regulations are increasing in number and starting to apply to a wider range of activities. Topics are also becoming more complex, even without taking into account specific geographic characteristics and businesses. That’s why you need to have a detailed understanding of regulations, combined with an open mind on the diversity of issues. It’s simply essential doing this job.
What other qualities do you need for this job?
A good Compliance advisor demonstrates strong expertise and educational skills, but we also have to be aware that we don’t know everything. The Compliance entities and managers we work with have an in-depth knowledge of their business and sector: we must listen to them and understand their concerns to make sure that the specific nature of their activity is taken into consideration.
We’re not there to give lessons, but to act as expert listeners and communicators of information who are open to a range of situations. In short, I would say that a good compliance advisor must ensure regulatory compliance in a pragmatic way, because good procedure means nothing if it’s not applied properly.
A good Compliance advisor demonstrates strong expertise and educational skills.
What attracted you to this position at BNP Paribas?
My interest in the diversity of the bank’s businesses and the Group’s international dimension. I took the job three years ago, when BNP Paribas was seeking to expand its Compliance division. What do I like most about it today? Making sure that complex projects proceed as smoothly as possible, notably through the confidence and mutual respect that ties us to our contacts.
compliance will become a key factor for competitiveness.
What do you think is the future of compliance?
Though it’s often seen as a “necessary evil,” compliance will become a key factor for competitiveness. For a bank, being able to apply regulations in the most agile way possible will become a key sales argument, an asset for differentiation and, in short, a strong driver of strategic growth. Clients will always find peace of mind in knowing that their financial establishment meets the highest compliance standards.
“ Be open-minded and kind to others. A strong grasp of English and international cultures is essential, because the Group’s success heavily relies on this diversity. And don’t shy away from geographic and functional mobility, because the Group offers numerous opportunities for advancement. Be ready to live the BNP Paribas adventure! ”
Chargé de conformité spécialisé
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
Managing a variety of issues and projects on a permanent basis (six underway in the field) and juggling these various demands from day to day. But this multifaceted aspect is also what makes the job so rewarding: we work in an ultra-dynamic environment.
Photos ©rabbit75_fot // ©Wasan
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