By Angela Knight, Managing Director - Equiom Corporate Services (Middle East) Limited
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, is it wise to consider outsourcing your organisation’s compliance function?
Outsourcing of services by financial institutions has become commonplace and the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the significance of having robust business continuity processes in place. Many businesses globally have suffered because of social distancing restrictions and it has caused unrest and disruption to many organisations. Some companies, including banks and financial institutions have been under immense financial pressure and many have been forced to close, either temporarily or permanently.
In some countries regulators have extended substantial forbearance and this has provided some financial firms with regulatory relief temporarily, but this does not mean that regulators will turn a blind eye to compliance breaches. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that all compliance requirements are met particularly in times of uncertainty.
During the Covid-19 pandemic business flexibility and adaptability became key for businesses. Outsourcing to consultancy firms is one option available to businesses to ensure they keep up with compliance requirements. Here we look at three ways a business can benefit from outsourcing its compliance function.
Save on overheads
Outsourcing to a third party over employing a member of staff keeps overheads low by removing visa, health insurance, End of Service Gratuity payments (in the form of DEWS for DIFC based companies) and full-time salary costs from the budget. It also provides you with instant access to an experienced individual without hiring costs and/or delays caused by the hiring process.
- Gain access to an experienced team
When you outsource to a reputable company, you can be assured that its employees are experienced compliance consultants who are authorised and qualified to carry out compliance duties and have extensive knowledge of regulatory rules and requirements.
You will also be supported by a team of qualified professionals so can be assured of assistance and support at all times, even when your dedicated Compliance Officer/MLRO is unavailable.
- Ensure business continuity
The recent COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted enormously the importance of business continuity measures and systems to ensure firms can seamlessly transition if there is an interruption to business as usual. Access to robust business continuity planning and technological capabilities via a consultancy business can ensure uninterrupted service is provided to your clients.
Why choose Equiom?
Equiom Corporate Services (Middle East) Ltd provides compliance services to organisations, ensuring that they remain compliant with the rules and regulations set out by local regulatory bodies. Our team has a great deal of expertise covering compliance, AML and risk management gained through working with a multitude of firms across the DIFC and having regular contact with the DFSA and DIFC.
Equiom has a robust Business Continuity Plan in place, which was invoked during the recent COVID-19 pandemic and saw all UAE employees being asked to work from home. Our team transitioned seamlessly to home-working with little disruption to day-today activities and deliverables. The recent circumstances have been testament to our robust technological capabilities, which have enabled our teams and clients to remain connected locally and globally.
We assist businesses in a number of different ways from providing Compliance Officers, MLROs and Risk Officers on a long-term basis to providing temporary cover where required. We also provide compliance training and ongoing support to a new Compliance Officer/MLROs.
If you have identified a need to vary the scope of your firm’s licence in the DIFC, in response to the recent circumstances, we can help you by managing your licence variation application on your behalf.
Other related services
Our DIFC-based team is equipped to assist you with compliance, AML and risk management related services. Our strength lies in our global network of offices, which allows us to connect you with other jurisdictions that can assist with a wide range of services, including company secretarial services, outsourced payroll services, visa processing, company formation and trusts and foundations including in the DIFC and ADGM. Our offices around the world work closely together to ensure that our collective experience and service offering will assist our clients whatever their corporate need.