Client meeting preparation today
Regulatory restrictions in the financial services industry are at an all-time high. After some harmonization in the early 2000s, the current trend is now reversing back towards nationalization. One of the areas where this trend has a huge impact is client relationship management. Clients, particularly in the private banking and wealth management sectors, require specialist advice best provided via personal interaction.
Both geographical mobility and the use of digital tools such as video conferencing solutions can lead to the assumption that financial services can be provided or discussed anytime and regardless of a client’s current physical location. This is a wrong assumption as, in many countries, regulatory restrictions apply even when discussing banking services or investment products over the phone.
Financial institutions find themselves in a difficult position: internally, regulatory restrictions are often maintained through text-based policies and are not linked to CRM tools client advisors are using. Preparing a successful meeting therefore requires a lot of manual work and often clarifications with legal or compliance. It becomes even worse when a client is changing his travel plans on short notice and the meeting content needs to be adjusted quickly to the new regulatory context.
Often, this manual approach is a lose-lose-lose situation, both for the client and the bank:
- Clients find it difficult to understand why lengthy compliance clarifications are required for a simple discussion about their portfolio
- Client advisors are trapped between client expectations and regulatory restrictions and are getting frustrated
- Legal and compliance staff are struggling to quickly obtain clear answers to country-specific regulatory requirements
The challenge of regulatory restrictions
Regulations in many countries restrict the offering of financial services and investment products such as investment funds or structured products. Depending on the jurisdiction, this applies to asset or wealth managers as well as to retail banks alike.
Some jurisdictions are more relaxed with institutional clients or reverse solicitation, others with offering services to existing clients or investment products registered in the country. These attributes are the so-called ‘offering context’.
And these country-specific elements are just one side of the story: financial institutions market services through different legal entities that can operate under a local regulatory license (e.g. a banking license), a passporting regime or a similar exemption framework or without a local registration at all. Distinguishing between them has a huge impact and must be factored in to provide a client advisor with a clear and yes-or-no answer about what they can do.
This regulatory complexity makes it so difficult to clarify the restrictions for a concrete client meeting. And it leaves financial institutions with three options to remain compliant:
|Growth potential||Risk minimisation||Speed of implementing||Ease of maintenance|
|Option 1: no client meetings abroad||+||+++||++++||+++|
|Option 2: case by case restriction clarification||+++||++||+||+|
|Option 3: introduce dynamic meeting preparation checks||++++||++++||+++||++++|
Introducing digital client meeting preparation checks
The starting point for every digitally empowered meeting preparation is having the regulatory requirements available in a binary and machine-readable format.
These rules are obtained from partners with verified legal expertise and are being kept up to date on an ongoing basis, minimising the risk of non-compliance. Maintained in a digital repository, these rules must be easily customizable to specific requirements of a financial institution, quickly accessible by client-facing staff, e.g. via intranet, and available to integrate into existing processes such as a CRM tool.
To digitally speed up your meeting preparation process, you will need the following three building blocks:
- The right set of digital regulatory restrictions: a repository of country-specific and highly detailed machine-readable rules customizable to an organization
- Dynamic meeting preparation app: access to an easy-to-use app providing client advisors with fast and fully compliant answers about what can be discussed in a client meeting
- Easy integration options: experience and technology empowering your developers to easily integrate machine-readable rules into in-house processes
Benefits when using digital meeting preparation checks
- Get binary answers to offering restrictions and dynamically adjust to changing meeting contexts
- Compare different meeting contexts and pro-actively propose alternatives with less regulatory restrictions within seconds
- Stay compliant with the right set of digitalised regulatory answers
- Scalability by easy addition of countries