Regulatory Compliance & Risk Management

1 minute read

Keys for a less stressful regulatory exam

Aug 5, 2016

Written by: Shawn Sweeney

An upcoming regulatory exam can strike fear into the heart of even the most confident and experienced business leader. And while there’s no trick that will make all of that anxiety go way, knowing what to expect when the examiners arrive on site can go a long way to alleviating your concerns. Here are a few steps you can take to better set you and your team up for a successful exam:

  1. Review the exam manual – Do you remember in college when your fraternity or sorority house had that filing cabinet filled with prior tests? Wouldn’t it be great if the same thing existed for your regulatory exams? Well, it does. Every regulator publishes the exam manual that their examiners are required to use when conducting exams. Making some time to read through these exam manuals can give you a big leg up in preparing for what’s coming.
  2. Read the recent news – Regulatory examiners aren’t selected for their creativity. No surprise there. But you can use this to your advantage. Just as the examiners will leverage the published exam manual to conduct the exam, they will also heavily look to recent exams in your particular field to find areas to concentrate on while reviewing you. You can do some easy news searches or even visit the regulators website to find this information. So if your competitors have recently been hammered on their repossessions, you can bet that the examiners will spend extra time looking at your repo processes and procedures.
  3. Leverage your compliance team – You might see your compliance team as a form of internal examiners. So it might be the last place you go to look for help. However, your compliance team is actually there to help you prepare for these exams. They have the experience and perspective to help you (including helping you with the two suggestions above!). You’re not in this alone! Your compliance team is there to help you. Insist on it.

Of course exam prep is best when it actually happens in advance of the receiving the Information Request from the exam team. Put exam dates on your calendar, and then schedule appropriate milestones to prepare.