Have you ever wondered what our consultants do with their days?

Our hands-on approach to compliance means our work is varied and we wear many hats, but when we are glued to our computer screens, what exactly is going on? To demonstrate what happens behind the scenes at the B-Hive, our very own Rachel MacRae has opened up her diary to give you all a peek…

A day in my life

I was at a client’s office yesterday, so today is going to be busy – I have a lot of catching up to do!

I’m lucky that B-Compliant offers a hybrid working model, so I can work from home while I recover from yesterday’s long commute.

After walking my dog, Mabel, and a very large cup of coffee (a proper one – I used to work in a coffee shop!), I log on.

Like most of us these days, my first job is to tackle my emails. Whilst I’m on client site, any urgent enquiries are directed to our helpdesk, but now I need to address the ones that aren’t time sensitive. They include:

  • A query on AML verification for a client in a care home. I direct the adviser to some JMLSG guidance and provide them with practical examples to demonstrate how it can be completed.
  • A question about the Fin073 Baseline Financial Resilience Report on reg data. The client wasn’t able to cross-validate the figures, so I log on to the portal (don’t worry, we have editing permissions!) and review the return and the accounts provided. It turns out to be a simple typo, which I update. I then validate the report for the client to submit.

Client follow-up

Emails cleared, I start following up on yesterday’s client visit. I have been helping the firm manage its T&C scheme and my visit included meeting with the advisers for their one-to-ones and annual certification. We discussed the data and their priorities for the forthcoming year, so today, I’m going to start writing up the feedback and issue their certificates.

I am also reviewing the client’s KPIs within the T&C scheme, after proposing some changes yesterday, to bring the firm more into line with Consumer Duty. Whilst the regulations were introduced almost a year ago, it is important to remember that making changes to ensure good outcomes is not a one-time-only event. It should be something you consider on an ongoing basis. I draft and track the changes to the scheme and send this to the firm to approve.

After staring at T&Cs for a couple of hours, I think I deserve a break, so I decamp to the sofa for a quick chat with my husband who is also working from home today.

Giving and receiving advice

Once back at my desk, I check in with one of my colleagues to catch up and ask their opinion on a question about a MIF return I have received. We all have different areas of expertise and it is great to have their input when I’m supporting firms.

It’s now time for a gear change. I have been asked by a client to review a file as a matter of urgency. Whilst we normally promise files will be evaluated in five working days, we are able to address critical matters when resources permit and we aim to turn these around as quickly as possible.

The file concerns a client for whom more than one ad hoc withdrawal of funds has been made. I find it is missing some details on income and expenditure and there is no clear income plan detailed. Whilst I am happy the product recommended was suitable to facilitate the withdrawal, I advise the firm that it needs to review some of its supporting know your client information and research to make the file more robust.

I’m now nearly done for the day, but as I like to keep up-to-date with regulatory changes and generally stay abreast of what is going on in the financial sector, I spend some time reading through a recent article about FCA engagement. It is useful, as I have a call with a firm tomorrow to review its compliance monitoring plan.

Thankfully, there’s no drive home for me today, so it’s straight back out into the rain with the pooch for another walk. This time we head to the canal so I can stretch my legs after sitting at my desk and she can woof at some ducks!

If you would like to know more about our hands-on approach to compliance support, or our wide range of services, don’t hesitate to contact us on (0161) 521 8641 or email: info@b-compliant.co.uk

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