Looking at Your Compliance Programme Through the Eyes of a Prosecutor
In a roundtable discussion with Risk & Compliance magazine, FTI Consulting’s Julian Glass and Katherine Gillespie and Freshfields’ Ali Kirby-Harris and Ben Morgan discuss how to build a robust compliance programme.
"Given recent shifts in regulatory activity and changing priorities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to what extent has the importance of compliance programmes declined? Do companies need to guard against complacency?
Kirby-Harris: In responding to COVID-19, compliance has been just as important as ever, and has had to take account of unusual and unique risk-generating circumstances. Companies are facing novel business and financial pressure from the COVID-19 crisis which has heightened compliance risk. Experience teaches us that financial pressures from a crisis can lead to risky behaviour. Increased pressure on employees to make sales or complete contracts intensifies the risk of compliance challenges. In the context of a market downturn, there is greater risk of market manipulation and insider trading. With supply chain disruptions, companies may have to urgently find new business partners, possibly leading to reduced vetting, exposing companies to money laundering and bribery and corruption risk. In this environment, a renewed focus on robust compliance programmes is, in many cases, a business priority."