Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Compliance and the "Credible Challenge"

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Compliance and the "Credible Challenge"

Article excerpt

Be careful what you ask for, as they say. For decades, the compliance department has agitated for a seat at the table and for the right to be heard--before the bank ventures into products or deals that may cause compliance headaches, or worse.

Now, they've got all that and then some. Top management and the board used to have the attitude, "Here's money and resources--keep us out of trouble and spare us the details." Now, they want the full picture.

Furthermore, compliance leaders will increasingly find themselves part of the process of enforcing accountability under the Dodd-Frank Act--for both errors in detail and errors in judgment.

All this was the clear message delivered by the compliance chiefs of Bank of America, Citibank, and Wells Fargo during a panel discussion at ABA's recent Regulatory Compliance Conference.

The panelists addressed the need for "credible challenge" in banking today. That is, the need to question and constructively criticize. While this role starts with the board, it also falls squarely on the shoulders of the compliance department. Being able to credibly push back "takes a different skill set," observed Paula Dominick, chief compliance officer at BofA. …

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