Changing legislation meant commercial finance broker Direct Asset Finance found themselves with a short window to get up to speed or face having to discontinue trading some of its services. That’s when they called in their local Business Doctor.
Director Simon Knowler explains: “When the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) assumed responsibility for the regulation of consumer credit in the UK, it meant we faced increasing regulatory controls and supervision.
“With a short timeframe to get ourselves in order, we knew we needed to bring in some external support to support us through the process. As a small business, we simply didn’t have the manpower – or expertise – to achieve this on our own.
“And with over 15 years senior level experience in highly regulated business sectors, we knew Business Doctor Richard Tidswell would be able to guide us through it.”
To maintain and uphold their reputation under the new stronger regulatory spotlight required a comprehensive review of all policies, procedures, systems and processes to ensure compliance with the new standards.
With Richard’s guidance, the brokers decided to take things one step further, fully embracing a culture of ‘demonstrable compliance’.
Richard explains: “From the outset I knew Simon and Neil, not only had one eye on ensuring regulatory compliance, but also wanted to maximise the opportunity of embracing the changes in the market. This involved us shifting mindsets away from a ‘have to do to comply’ attitude to looking at the business and strategic benefits of having a strong compliance function: in other words, to stop seeing the new legislation as a headache and to embrace it as an opportunity.
“We talked about how it underpins company integrity whilst increasing productivity, engagement and loyalty amongst staff, as well as better candidate attraction in the labour market.”
Richard points out that companies that can show a demonstrable commitment to compliance can also benefit from enhanced brand perception, which can be a huge differentiator in a crowded marketplace.
Since achieving full authorisation, Direct Asset Finance has maintained its close ties with the Business Doctor and considers Richard to be an extension of the team.
“We continue to work closely with Richard and have subsequently put in place an entirely new compliance and governance framework within the business, covering areas such as customer policies and processes, training and development, compliance reporting and management information,” says Simon.
“He helped us to recognise the strategic opportunities the new regulatory regime brought to the future growth of the business. He also helped us to engage our team to drive a strong sense of purpose built off core shared values.
“By investing now in ensuring we have robust governance and compliance processes in place, we establish the bedrock from which to expand the operations of the business.”