Interview with: Reyna Soni, Partner

Simcocks | View firm profile

What is your role at Simcocks Advocates?

I assist Simcocks with its own compliance and regulatory matters and I also assist our clients, mainly trust and corporate service providers (“TCSP’s”), with ensuring that their company has a compliant framework, with the necessary procedures and processes in place, to meet their ongoing regulatory requirements.

Part of my role is to assist clients by providing them with a review form ‘package’ which they would use day to day, where I walk them through what needs to be done, with specific regard to their own operational methodologies.

My involvement could go beyond simply looking at what a company is doing in relation to their compliance requirements to actively assisting them in doing what’s needed to get them ‘over the line’ so to speak, usually in anticipation of or in response to a regulatory assessment. This service includes assisting them in completing their internal and/or managed entity compliance reviews, where for example a licensed entity has fallen behind in maintaining their compliance procedures and processes generally. Here I could rally together a task force if needed and our level of engagement would vary depending on the client’s circumstances.

Who would benefit from the Regulatory & Compliance service?

All businesses, by and large, have some regulatory and compliance requirements. These would range from general GDPR and company reporting requirements to the more complex licensing requirements.

The more intricate matters generally come our way from the licensed and regulated entities, such as TCSP’s and banks who have to comply with the Financial Services Act/AML CFT Code and gaming entities who have to comply with the requirements of the Online Gaming Regulations Act.

How can Simcocks’ Regulatory & Compliance team support a company coming up to an assessment?

Simcocks can assist in many different ways, depending on the type of client and the circumstances that lead them to seeking advice.

When looking at the TCSP and banking clients who are regularly assessed by the IOM FSA, we can provide them with ‘General Health Checks’, where we go through their procedures

and processes to ensure that they are meeting the required regulatory standards, in advance of an assessment. We can even, depending on what’s required by the client, go a step further and create a task force to help the client bring their files and records up to date. By way of example, where a TCSP has fallen behind in conducting their mandatory file reviews and needs to urgently bring things up to date in advance of an assessment, we could go through their client entity files, do the review and give them a list of things that need to be done, to bring the records up to date.

What can the Simcocks team do to assist if there has been a breach?

Depending on the nature of the breach, we could review the matter and advise whether we consider there has been an actual breach, and liaise with the IOM FSA in this regard. Where a client elects to challenge the breach, we could assist in mediating the matter with the IOM FSA and if necessary, our litigation team can assist in bringing the client’s case forward.

Alternatively, we could work with the client and the FSA to demonstrate compliance, post breach.

What services do you provide to ensure clients’ regulatory compliance in the future?

Our general health-checks would help our client to determine which aspects of their policies and procedures need to be updated so that they continue to be compliant and we can assist in doing this for clients ourselves, where necessary.

Our review task force can be called in at any time to help a client stay on track, even if an assessment isn’t imminent and our review form package can be used by clients on an ongoing basis to ensure that they continue to do what is required.

We can assist by providing advice to Money Laundering Reporting Officers (MLROs) on whether a suspicious activity report needs to be made in specific circumstances.

Also, importantly, we can provide bespoke training to clients and their staff on the rules that currently apply to their particular office, so they have an understanding about why these tasks and checks are necessary.

Reyna is part of a team of risk advisory and compliance experts at Simcocks Advocates.