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We were delighted to be joined by compliance and regulatory expert Jennifer Simmons from MUFG for the latest edition of our Modern Compliance Webinar Series. She went into great detail about how working from home has affected compliance at her firm and the wider effect it’s had on the market in general.

If you missed it, you can watch the entire webinar on-demand from our events page. Here are just some of Jennifer’s highlights to give you a taste of what’s to come.

Has WFH changed the way you monitor compliance?

Jennfier Simmons: “We, like everyone, experienced an influx of alerts as soon as all of this happened. We had trade alerts, we had a lot more e-comm alerts and, specifically, because now everything that would happen verbally is happening in a written chat, or most of it is, so now we have a lot more hits than we would normally see.

“Having said that, we’ve also found that there’s a benefit to doing some random sampling in there because while keyword hits are great at picking up certain things, you tend to get, I would say, fatigue when you’re zooming through that many keywords. Having something that’s a random sampling can give you an insight into a different part of the business or a different conversation than you would normally see.

“And maybe that gives you a better understanding of what’s actually happening on your trading floor or your virtual trading floor, in this case. We were able to capture two instances of people doing some things that were outside business activities. We had some, maybe inappropriate information sharing, things like that, that the keywords aren’t necessarily going to flag up, or weren’t present but doing the random sampling helps us catch a few of these things.”

How resilient has your firm been to WFH and have you recalibrated your compliance monitoring?

Jennifer Simmons: “I say that, as far as calibration goes, I think that we as a firm took the stance that this is a 100-year event. While we were inundated, we’ve managed to catch up. And, it doesn’t serve us in our day to day to recalibrate in that fashion because we have to think about how we’re going to treat every day, not just how we treat these anomalous events. 

“As far as resilience goes, I’ve actually been pretty impressed with how we as a firm and the Street, in general, has been resilient. The fact that we took people who wouldn’t normally be allowed to work from home and we found ways to make it possible for them. I know we’re not the only company that has accelerated some of our technology infrastructure changes that were on the roadmap for a couple of years from now and they’re being implemented and they’re being rolled out across the firm. So that’s a positive thing that we’re taking away.

“I’m really impressed with how much effort and how much dedication I’m seeing from people. I think maybe there was an assumption that, with people working from home, people were going to spend their time doing anything but working but I found the opposite to be true.”

What are your main takeaways from working over the past six months?

Jennifer Simmons: “From my perspective, we’re all much more capable and more responsive to change. Humans are malleable. We can get accustomed to, I hate to say this, almost anything, but we do. We may initially push back or resist but it’s become easier to be working from home. 

“But, at the same time, our companies have become more resilient, right? Like, there’s more appetite for technology. There’s more appetite to move things forward faster. So that’s me from a work perspective: it’s positive. That we can look at things, we can find a way to change, and we can embrace that change. And I think that only helps us as a company and as an industry.”

Watch the Webinar in Full

If you’d like to watch the 30-minute webinar in full, head over to our events page now.