Thursday, 22 September 2011

Balancing Compliance and the Media

In a world of financial difficulties the media looks to pillory and find those responsible. Regulation and compliance become the popular solution for all our ills. "If things had been regulated better" then this or that would n't have happened. Nearly every day the media is probing and acting like a pack of hunting hounds around one issue or another.

The trouble is that regulation cost money, lots of money. It is evident from contractor job boards that the majority of contracts on offer for change professionals in the UK this autumn are regulatory based compliance projects. Large corporate organisations are doing stuff because they have to, not because they really want or need to. Solvency 2, RDR (Retail Distribution Review) are two of the many regulatory based initiatives rippling through financial services. How much real customer service improvement has been put on hold as a result?

Who pays for all of this- the customer - in higher prices  and also perhaps more significantly in many cases, irritating processes and worsened customer experiences - yet another pointless pre recorded compliance based announcement delaying the call!

I am not advocating that compliance is bad news I am just saying that we need to be careful we "don't throw the baby out with the bath water". It isn't the panacea that the announcers and anchor men/ladies on the Today Programme would seem to suggest.

Compliance has an enormous cost in both hard cash and in how we interact with organisations we buy services from. What we really  need is a bit of balance and a bit of common sense.