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The following is my response to a writing exercise I recently had to complete for a job application. Of several titles, I chose to address this one:


‘Building a culture of compliance within financial services.’


Here’s my response (limited to 200 words):


Survival, let alone success, is not a right. It must be fought for.


All organisations are threatened by external and internal forces. Internal strength is critical if external threats are to be met and opportunities maximised.


Recent history has offered stark examples of how poor internal culture can lead to the destruction of the largest and oldest institutions and how their failure can taint others, damage the economy and undermine society.


Compliance is one tool that can help build a healthy internal culture and reduce the risk of malpractice.


The first critical fact to understand is that no compliance regime can compete against human ingenuity – if people are motivated to contrary actions they can and will.


The next and most important fact is that the vast majority of people are not inherently bad.


Therefore, to build a positive compliance culture any organisation must attract and retain ethical employees, eject those that are not, ensure the aims align with those of staff, and be sure to reward and motivate staff for compliance.


The words and actions of leadership are the most powerful requisite for success. No compliance regime can succeed if the business strategy and leadership do not adhere to it.

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