Tag Archive | BBA

Highlights from the BBA Annual Retail Banking Conference Pt 1: Brexit and Beyond

Last week, we attended the BBA’s Annual Retail Banking Conference in the heart of The City; where as well as exhibiting, we also took part in the day’s varied panel discussions, presentations and floor debates. 

Bringing together some of the most influential players in the retail banking sector, this event represents a unique opportunity for the industry’s elite to gather to discuss hot topics with delegates from across the banking, insurance and fin-tech sectors. With the shock of the Brexit vote still fresh in everyone’s minds, the conference was well-placed to give a perspective from an outlet that was refreshingly free of the hyperbole that has typified political headlines in recent weeks. Changes to the advertised itinerary for the day saw last minute inclusions of figures such as ex-MEP Baroness Bowles, and the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, MP Harriett Baldwin.

Picture of the audience and screen at the BBA conferrence

On Brexit:

Chairing the day was ITV’s Business Editor, Joel Hills; “We know for certain that Britain is leaving the EU”, he said, “but at this time we have absolutely no idea what that means for Britain, or for London. However, remembering the 2008 banking crash, Britain’s banks have been stress tested to destruction – and we have survived what we hope is worse.”

Whether his view is an overly optimistic one or not was very much up for discussion; Noreen Doyle, chair of the BBA was more measured in her take on things, saying that consequences – whether for better or worse – would take time to become apparent. “our message to the government is that we need an orderly transition to whatever system will be in place from here”, she commented; “We do welcome the government’s decision not to invoke article 50 for now, as we do need time to plan for a stable and orderly transition for the banking sector.” Indeed, this was a view shared by many of the other panellists, with Justin Bisseker (Pan-European Banks Analyst at Schroders) stating that, “Invoking article 50 will simply accelerate decisions that might otherwise have taken a decade. Investment decisions will likely be delayed until there is more certainty.” Adding her take on things, Harriett Baldwin MP reiterated the point that the triumph of the ‘leave’ vote was, “a clear democratic decision on a higher turnout than we get in a general election.” Although her tone implied a certain amount of uncertainty for the future of Britain’s banking sector in light of Brexit, she went on to remember the 1987 stock market crash, and the 1997 capital market crash, concluding that, “financial markets are capable of weathering times like these.”

Image of the programme of speakers for the BBA conference

“There have been fundamental reforms to the regime since the last crash”, she continued, “and above and beyond the effectiveness of precautionary measures put in place by The Bank of England, the critical social determinate is confidence. The UK is the most experienced financial capital in the world; we have a strong regulatory framework; we will adjust to and overcome the challenges we face. As far as we are concerned, there is no change – to the way goods and services are traded, or to the way our systems are regulated.

Let us not forget: the economy has grown 13% since 2010; the budget deficit is down from 11% of national income to just over 3%. The key message here is that Britain is strong, and we are open for business.”

Unicorn at the Conference:

In light of our solid and successful partnership with the BBA, we attended the conference in the capacity of exhibitors; taking with us some of our compliance experts to discuss our services with the attendees. [L-R Simon Mercer, ComplianceServe Product Manager; Aidan Keenlyside, Business Development Manager; Alex Prodromou, Business Development Manager.]

Simon, Aidan and Alex at the Unicorn Stand at the BBA conference

Our next blog from the Conference will look at Cyber Security, as we explore the panel discussion presented by HSBC, Santander and The National Crime Agency.

News: New ComplianceServe Launched As Regulation Grip Tightens


It’s ComplianceServe Jim, but not as we know it! Today (Friday 29 April) sees the launch of a new version of Unicorn’s industry-leading compliance training solution, ComplianceServe.

The objective is to continue to help firms bring about genuine cultural and behavioural change and more effectively meet their regulatory obligations.

The FCA’s new accountability regime for banks, building societies, credit unions and designated investment firms, which came into force last month, again brought into focus that the need for effective training and robust processes for evidencing competence has never been greater.

This is why ComplianceServe has been enhanced and given a new look and feel, to help firms embed the knowledge and understanding of why this regulation matters and drive the behavioural changes that will lead to better outcomes for customers.


At a glance

  • ComplianceServe’s fresh new appearance reflects the latest thinking in user experience.
  • It is easier and quicker for employees to find the right learning and create personalised training plans.
  • ComplianceServe’s new integrated CPD system automatically tracks completed online learning against a generic scheme based on FCA guidelines. It also allows the recording and tracking of other CPD activities such as face-to-face training, attending conferences or accredited body events, research and reading.
  • Over the past six months, with the support of industry partners including FSTP and the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), 11 new eLearning pathways have been added to the ComplianceServe library to help firms respond to regulation.
  • The new ComplianceServe also provides on-demand refresher training, using highly visual PDF summaries, to overcome the infamous ‘forgetting curve’.

Simon Mercer, ComplianceServe Product Manager, explains: “The new regulation has not only challenged firms to improve their compliance training practices but also provide robust evidence of their employees’ competency at whatever level they work. Staff must really understand what the regulation means and how to apply it and firms must be able to prove they can.

“The key is delivering personalised, ‘snackable’ chunks of learning on demand from their device of choice, while highlighting the potentially serious consequences of non-compliance for employee and employer. It lets them ‘fail’ in a safe environment where they can learn from the experience.”


The 11 new eLearning pathways immerse learners in realistic scenarios relevant to their job roles, with the opportunity to make decisions and see the consequences in a way that shapes new behaviours. The eLearning features various bite-size learning activities, including teaser videos, case studies and quick summaries, which all contribute to elevated engagement levels, knowledge retention and cultural change.

Simon adds: “We know new knowledge is rapidly lost if it’s not applied quickly following a training intervention and where there is no regular reinforcing activity. Instead of the once a year ‘sheep dip’ approach, ComplianceServe allows firms to push short bites of learning, tests and refreshers to learners on a regular basis to ensure understanding improves over time, behaviours change and culture shifts.”  

New ComplianceServe learning pathways include:

• The new Regulatory Framework in Banking
• Conduct Rules
• Cybercrime

• Senior Managers Regime
• Foreign Tax Compliance Act 2010 (FATCA)
• The basics of CASS (Client Assets Sourcebook)
• Consumer Credit – Handling Arrears

• The Certification Regime
• Three Lines of Defence
• Vulnerable Customers
• Transaction Reporting

In 2016 Unicorn’s learning and performance platform, SkillsServe was ranked the world’s top LMS for the financial sector for the second successive year, and fourth overall across all sectors, in the Top 50 LMSs Report 2016*. For more information about ComplianceServe visit www.unicorntraining.com/complianceserve

* This report is compiled annually by Craig Weiss, named as the most influential person in the world for eLearning for the past two years.

NEWS: Unicorn Training Announces Record Year

peterp_headshotUnicorn Training, one of the UK’s longest established and most respected online learning companies, has reported record sales and growth of a third in 2015.

Unicorn sales have exceeded £5.6m (US$8.5m), a 33% rise on 2014, in this calendar year, with more new customers won than ever before as well as the company achieving double-digit growth in recurrent revenue from a loyal customer base.

In 2015 Unicorn’s online learning and performance platform, SkillsServe, was ranked the world’s number one LMS for financial services and fifth overall, and Unicorn will be marking its record year on Stand P14 at the Learning Technologies 2016 conference and exhibition at Olympia on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 February.

Peter Phillips, Unicorn co-founder and CEO, said: “Over the past 12 months we have seen sustained growth in demand across all our main activities; platform, bespoke content development and our off-the-shelf compliance library.

“This is particularly true in our core sector, financial services, where demand for high quality regulatory and compliance training, together with increased awareness of the risks of cybercrime, are being driven by rigorous, new UK regulatory standards.”

Unicorn is uniquely positioned to offer turnkey solutions, combining SkillsServe’s sector-leading features with relevant and up-to-date content and outstanding instructional design, backed by long-standing partnerships with such industry bodies as the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and the British Bankers Association (BBA).

In addition, having acquired a strategic stake in the world class games studio, Amuzo, at the end of last year, Unicorn is also able to meet the growing demand for mobile just-in-time learning, serious games and on-demand video content.

Peter added: “Looking ahead to 2016, I believe this robust and scalable business model will continue to generate strong growth in our core business.

“Add to this the exciting new opportunities opened up through our partnership with Amuzo and for a company whose purpose for over 25 years has been to provide great learning experiences through the innovative use of technology, these are exciting times.”

For more information about Unicorn Training visit www.unicorntraining.com and to come and see us at Learning Technologies 2016 register for free entry to the Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills 2016 exhibitions and seminars at www.learningtechnologies.co.uk

Financial crime in spotlight at WKFS events

Heavy fines and inadequacies of financial-crime governance approaches and processes to date is proving costly.

The culmination of this came with the FSA Handbook FCC update in December 2011, an attempt by the outgoing regulator to put into place more robust processes and industry practices designed to make financial crime detection and prevention a high priority, and far easier and effective.

But how do you ensure you can get one cohesive view of your financial crime governance programme?

Unicorn Training partners, Wolters Kluwer Financial Services, are hosting a couple of events – online and an executive briefing – in May to shed more light on financial crime governance to comply with the latest FSA guidelines.

Among the expert speakers include Matt Allen, Director- Financial Crime at Unicorn Training partners the BBA, who will discuss the Evolving Financial Crime Regulatory Landscape, with other items on the event agendas including what you need in an effective programme and how you can achieve a structured, comprehensive view of Financial Crime Governance.

Wolters Kluwer Financial Services officially endorses Unicorn Training financial crime eLearning.

For more information about the events click hereLink

New Act guidance keeps bribery perils in focus

The Bribery Act, which came into force in July 2011, means the UK now has the most comprehensive anti-bribery legislation in the world, enhancing its reputation as a safe commercial environment in which to do business.

To help support banks in their ongoing efforts to comply with the Bribery Act 2010, the British Banking Association (BBA) has published its new ‘Bribery Act 2010 – Guidance on Compliance’.

The BBA stresses there will be a continuing need for the banking sector to collaborate closely and share best practice and experiences as the legislation is tested in a legal and practical sense. The new ‘Guidance on Compliance’ publication focuses on helping banks assess the policies and procedures they need to put in place to meet the requirements of the Act, and also considers the links with other requirements such as FSA regulations.

In partnership with BBA, Unicorn Training was the first-to-market with our updated Countering Bribery and Corruption course last year, incorporating the Ministry of Justice guidance dealing with Sections 7-9 of the Act, which had led to the initial delay in the Act coming into force.

There are financial services sector and insurance-specific versions of the course, both of which shun the traditionally dry ‘tick-box’ compliance learning style by focussing on engaging the end user in practical situations that make the course relevant to them. The underlying principle is to engage the learner by testing their ability to apply knowledge in familiar, practical situations.

The course opens with a short ‘cameo’ of a character talking emotionally about his personal experience of the consequences of not following or understanding his regulatory obligations. The subsequent interactive content includes sector-specific case studies.

Take a look at a short demo…..

Download the BBA ‘Bribery Act 2010 – Guidance on compliance’.

Customer Due Diligence in combating crime

All businesses and involved in financial transactions are at risk from financial crime. With criminal methods becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex, knowing exactly who you are dealing with is of paramount importance before any business is conducted.

But Customer Due Diligence is about so much more than just doing your homework on a potential customer or client prior to any businesses exchanges; it is making sure your company and employees have the know-how to review your client relationships on an ongoing basis and recognise if, and when, something that could signal a potential crime risk arises, and what needs to be done to prevent criminal or fraudulent activity unfolding.

As Richard Cook, Director Financial Crime in the Financial Policy and Operations Team at the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) says: “CDD is critical to anti-money laundering and fraud. KYB (Know Your Business) and KYC (Know Your Customer) are terms that are still used but over time they have become associated with research and verification carried out on day one of a business relationship. CDD goes way beyond that, ensuring businesses don’t accept clients outside of their normal risk tolerance, or whose business is not fully transparent.”

In an age where company business structures are becoming more complex and global, with company directors operating across multiple layers of a business do you really know who you are dealing with? If the answer is ‘no’ then you are at risk of potential exploitation. After all who knows to where the criminals may be siphoning off funds and for what purpose?

Governed by the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, Customer Due Diligence is about gaining and maintaining sufficient information about your customers and making effective use of it.

Our new Customer Due Diligence course helps your employees understand:
■the importance of pre and ongoing client monitoring / identity verification
■what the risks of not taking appropriate CDD measures are
■obtaining information on the purpose and intended nature of the relationship
■what constitutes reliable and independent source documents, data or information
■monitoring customer transactions and periodically reviewing the relationship
■how to respond in the event of a potential crime threat being identified through CDD

This new CDD course is part of our financial crime suite, which draws on the experience and subject matter expertise of our partners, the BBA and Wolters Kluwer Financial Services.

The suite includes such courses as ‘Money Laundering and How You Can Prevent It’ and ‘Countering Bribery and Corruption’ plus other useful modules on Complying with Sanctions and Fighting Fraud.