Eimear is the Legal and Compliance Director for AXA Partners – Credit & Lifestyle Protection LPI and has been in the business for 2 years.
In recent times, compliance and non-compliance has been under much scrutiny in the media. Compliance is a key focus for businesses to ensure they protect the interests of their customers, stakeholders and businesses. The cost of non compliance can be devastating to a regulated business. As recently as May 2015, the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) fined Lloyds Banking Group €120 million for non-compliance with regulations relating to complaints handling.
As the Compliance Director for AXA Partners – Credit & Lifestyle Protection, my role is very varied.
The fundamental role of any compliance function is to act as a defence for the business and provide an independent assurance to the board and non-executive directors that we are conducting our business in a compliant manner.
Our objectives are simple: protect the business and protect our customers.
We operate within a robust framework with key tasks to ensure we continually safeguard AXA Partners – Credit & Lifestyle Protection, our partners and consumers by:
- Ensuring everyone is operating within regulatory and business rules and principles
- Producing comprehensive compliance policy and procedure documents
- Continually advising and guiding our business on regulatory topics and legal requirements
- Monitoring the business to give assurance to our regulators that the highest standards are being maintained and attained
- Working alongside our Risk and internal audit teams to form an integral part of AXA Partners – Credit & Lifestyle Protection’s corporate governance.
- Constantly having risk based’ reviews such as regulatory reporting, permissions, complaints, claims, gifts/benefits and conflicts of interest.
Compliance isn’t just about regulation. It offers a competitive advantage to our strategic partners and clients and ensure them that we operate with high ethical standards and that we only work with businesses that subscribe to the same values. We are able to mitigate a variety risks by being a vigilant compliance team. Furthermore, we are able to build awareness with our employees and Senior Leaders by creating a culture of training and providing support to all of our teams around the world.
Strategic planning is key in the world of compliance. In order to plan effectively, we prioritise risks and activities for the year by keeping the overall business priorities in mind. For example, if we decided to operate in a new market, compliance would consider the regulatory risks that would arise from such a move. Or if there were some new or important regulatory changes in the insurance or financial services market, we would make sure we could satisfy regulators.
There always needs to be a consideration from an internal perspective. We ask ourselves if we are meeting the requirements of our own policies such as outsourcing, money laundering and records management. At AXA Partners – Credit & Lifestyle Protection, our employees and commitment to excellence is the basis of all that we do and we aim to remain best-in-class when it comes to our partners and our customers.