Curb compliance costs ahead of the next wave of regulation

Marketers at financial institutions face a growing number of compliance and regulatory challenges and obstacles. From managing direct mail and email opt-outs to co-branding activities and disclosures—the list of compliance-related tasks seemingly grows every year.

In the wake of the compliance breakdown at Wells Fargo, small and midsize financial institutions are bracing for a new wave of regulations that will undoubtedly increase compliance costs, taking a big chunk from the bottom line. For smaller financial institutions, with ever-shrinking margins, any cost increase could be crippling.

Now is a good time to examine your marketing resources and processes to determine opportunities for reducing costs. It is possible to lessen some of the burdens on marketers by automating certain compliance-related tasks. These automated processes not only help reduce costs, they can actually boost sales while also providing verifiable records required to demonstrate compliance.

Here are a few ways automation can help control the cost of compliance for financial institutions  marketers.

Cobranding Activities Management

Use automation to manage the complexities of co-branding activities between mortgage loan officers and realtors/partners. Marketing resource management systems can manage and clearly document a range of co-branding activities, from the creation, legal review, and approval of marketing materials, to the reporting and secured payment processing of shared costs.

One of the first requests you’ll receive during an examination is for all of your advertisements targeted to the public during the specified review period. It’s critical to be able to promptly fulfill this request, because even if all your ads are compliant, you lose the trust of the auditor if you cannot produce the properly documented proof. Having documented co-branding activities allows you to efficiently fulfill this kind of request. And because an automated system with document archiving will enable you to quickly retrieve requested materials, you’ll be able to get back to your strategic marketing activities faster.

Opt-Out Management

Automation is an effective way to manage multiple layers of direct mail and email opt-outs across your financial institution’s organization. With the right automated solution, opt-outs received at the corporate level can be reflected in contact lists uploaded by sales personnel at local branches. Look for a system that allows for the suppression of contacts based on specific criteria. For example, don’t send certain promotions to existing customers, or don’t send specific product communications to contacts in states where the financial institution is not authorized to sell those products.

Process Improvements

Automating certain marketing tasks and processes will enable you to strengthen your overall financial institutions brand while reducing compliance risks and costs. Process improvements can make it easier for brokers and agents to do business with your financial institution, ultimately boosting sales. By making it easier for agents to create co-branded marketing materials, you’ll experience more effective joint marketing events, with no more missed opportunities.

Marketing and advertising regulations are a necessary part of the banking business. Looking for ways to curb marketing compliance costs now will put your financial institution in a stronger position when the inevitable next round of regulatory changes arrives. Automation of certain marketing tasks and processes is one way to prepare for what lies ahead.

Kandi O'Connor

Kandi O'Connor

Kandi O’Connor is COO of Vya, a provider of simplified marketing systems that solve local marketing challenges for marketers in banking and finance, insurance, franchising, and manufacturing. Web: Details