First Published on Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence on 7th April 2020
As the novel coronavirus outbreak disrupts business and sows uncertainty, senior managers, compliance, risk, and operations professionals are asking, "What does 'good' or 'better' practice look like during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis?" That was one of several themes addressed on a webinar hosted last week by Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence, which is now available to stream on demand.
The uncertainty and need to adapt is having a profound impact on firms, employees, customers, and regulators. However, Thomson Reuters experts and journalists from the United Kingdom and the United States agreed that firms and regulators appear to be meeting the challenges head on.
Brief recap of the webinar
The webinar kicked off with an overview of guidance and relief offered from financial regulators including the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulatory Authority in the U.K., in contrast to the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission in the U.S.
A top concern globally is whether business continuity plans (BCPs) are working and unforeseen challenges associated with the plans. Firms were strongly encouraged to communicate with their regulators in these challenging areas.
There was also discussion related to the identification of "key workers" which is required in the UK. An FCA statement on March 27 said, "Employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working."
Top risks surrounding remote working, cyber risks, market volatility, and market abuse were also discussed. The participants agreed that despite regulators working remotely as well, enforcement will continue with some leniency if firms are able to evidence efforts to comply.
A discussion of the top things to do now and looking ahead emphasized the importance of BCPs and the likelihood that regulators will make BCPs a high priority when things begin to return to normal and a retrospective review of "what worked, and what didn't" is undertaken in the next exam cycle.
Lastly the presenters fielded several questions from participants.
Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence is planning additional webinars in the coming weeks. Next up will be a discussion related to the detection and remediation of COVID-19-related fraud.
NOTES: Please visit the Thomson Reuters COVID-19 resource center for additional resources. For a regularly updated list of U.S. regulations related to the COVID-19/novel coronavirus update, please click on this link to the Skopos Labs Coronavirus Policy Tracker.