• Pamela Buckley
  • Published: 24 June 2019

Well, once again, the ABA hit it out of the park, hosting another phenomenal Regulatory Compliance Conference, June 9-12, 2019.  This year’s 33rd ABARCC, held in The Big Easy, was as content-rich as ever! The conference began with an insightful panel discussion, which set the stage for the national conversation on compliance, aptly focused on compliance in the age of digital innovation and the FinTech revolution. In the words of Citizens Financial Group EVP, Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer Scott Essex, “Do it. Prove it. Scale it.” Notwithstanding the many amazing keynotes, insightful general sessions, and informative deep-dive breakout sessions, what approximately 1,900 fellow compliance professionals and I appreciated most was the overarching theme of this year’s conference:  Compliance is all about the People!

As you think about the compliance officer of the future, expand your talent pool to include some tech-savvy, analytical, modeling, and program managers in the mix. Also, be open to the changes that are occurring as it’s going to be okay! 

Toward that end, notable quotes from the conference included “Compliance professionals need to get comfortable being uncomfortable,” particularly during this age of digital innovation, transformation, regtech, and fintechs. Everyone heard the message that it’s okay to make mistakes, get moving, quickly to innovate, transform, and optimize your compliance and risk management programs if you hope to stick around.  Think, acquire, or be acquired!

Keynote Patti Blenden kept the audience engaged and in hysterics while imparting insight around the compliance officer of the future.  She emphasized always be prepared and maintaining a positive perspective; getting back to basics; doing the right thing at the right time and being persistent; having a ‘plucking’ presence, and counting on the ABA for help.   

ABA’s James Ballentine shared an insightful Washington regulatory update on cannabis banking, AML/BSA, brokered deposits, and diversity and inclusion.

Keynote CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger shared her vision for the bureau, on her six-month anniversary, touching on consumer education, enforcement, examination reform, debt collection and more.

Naturally, deep-dive breakout sessions centered on BSA/AML, cannabis banking, fair lending, examination transformation, machine learning, AI, and more.

Capco was proud to sponsor ABARCC once again, and to present in panel discussions around conduct risk, and digital transformation and optimization. During our power breakfast panel, we encouraged financial institutions to develop a digital innovation strategy and get started on the journey, taking it one step at a time. Similar to mergers and acquisitions, be sure to learn from each stage, reflecting on what worked well and what you can do better during the next phase (or acquisition). Remember that compliance and risk must always have a seat at the table, incorporating compliance controls into new product and service development, as well as new delivery channels. Also, make sure you have the “right people in the right seats,” both internally and externally.

Congratulations to Richard Harvey, Jr., the extremely well-deserving recipient of this year’s ABA Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Harvey has dedicated his professional career to community banking, compliance, the regulatory agencies, and paying it forward by sharing his vast experience and expertise with countless others. His heartwarming acceptance speech underscored what a gentleman and family man he is to boot.

To glean additional intel from the conference, be sure to tune into ABAs podcasts, including Capco’s podcast around digital innovation and optimization. With hundreds of risk and compliance professionals nationwide, we would be delighted to serve you!     

Finally, no trip to NOLA would be complete without the obligatory coffee and beignet from the world-famous Café du Monde.  Hence a leisurely stroll through the French Quarter was the perfect ending to a chock-full few days of learning, engaging, collaborating, exhibiting, presenting and conversing!

Thanks to all who helped make this year’s ABARCC another tremendous success; let’s continue the conversation!

See you all at ABARCC 2020 in Maryland!