• Annabel Reoch, Partner |

Today's pressures caused by the threat of financial crime are relentless and show no sign of going away any time soon. Organizations often struggle with finding the right balance between complying with regulations while providing high-end customer experiences and keeping costs relatively low. It is a tricky road to be on, but there is no way around it. Not being compliant is not an option.

Regulations touch multiple functions within an organization, so tackling financial crime should not be done in silos. I believe this would lead to inefficiencies and also put your organization at risk of being non-compliant.

Whether it is bribery and corruption, facilitation of tax evasion, modern slavery or questionable business conduct in general, the fight against financial crime is interconnected. There cannot be one function addressing one part of financial crime regulations without letting the others know.

Understanding responsibility and accountability

For the interconnectedness of financial crime to be understood throughout the business, leadership should ensure that everyone is on the same page so there is a clear grasp of what their responsibilities in this fight are. Consideration of the existing organizational structure and culture can help to identify risk areas and change management requirements and can provide an opportunity for employee participation to inform revised processes. In my view, educating employees about accountability is essential, and it is also crucial to help ensure that they are properly trained to manage these responsibilities and know what to do, who to work with and how to speak up in case there is an issue.

Addressing financial crime as an interconnected discipline helps compliance be more effective and can define responsibility across the business, helping to ensure silos are brought together and to enable compliance to `put their arms around it all'. This can also support resourcing for compliance and therefore mitigate the cost burden often experienced by businesses when there are inefficiencies in the structure.

Organizational transformation may seem daunting, but it may also be necessary in order to take your fight against financial crime to the next level. By re-building your financial crime operating model and core processes into a sustainable, enhanced approach you will be able to deliver compliance, help reduce costs and enhance the customer experience. I believe every department should work together to help keep criminals at bay and strive to protect your organization. KPMG professionals can help you get where you need to be. They have the knowledge and experience to help you create a more collaborative environment and can put you in a stronger position to lead the fight against financial crime.