Regulation: Comply or die

You may consider increased regulation as a thorn in the side and yes, it’s a challenge, a drain on resources and can be complex. But ignore it at your peril.

Claire Barnes Taylors

By Claire Barnes, commercial disputes partner, Taylors

While politicians keep promising organisations will be able to ‘take back control’ the rules keep coming and many regulated businesses are struggling to manage their compliance.

It’s not surprising because daily regulatory updates have increased more than tenfold in the last few years, from around ten a day to more than 100 for some businesses!

Claims handlers have seized on this situation to go after firms, safe in the knowledge that most claims can be pursued without cost through a statutory ombudsman service.

The decisions are costly and almost impossible to challenge, even though the result can be terminal for the business.

Every day we hear from companies who have regulators breathing down their necks but often, by the time they pick up the phone to us, they are in real danger. To try and avoid falling foul of a regulator, there are several precautions that every business should take.

  • Find out which regulations affect different business lines and products, depending on where your business operates.
  • Once you’ve identified these, ensure you keep relevant obligations up to date.
  • Ensure you can demonstrate continuous monitoring of regulations by keeping records of updates and make employees aware of them.
  • Use business software that manages risks and configure it to report any issues that impact the business.
  • Finally, and most importantly, operate a robust complaints procedure in a timely manner. It’s always a good idea to refer problems to your solicitor before you make any responses to the claims handler or regulator.