How anonymous feedback helps with managing risk for the financial services sector

6th September 2022

The financial services industry is heavily regulated, and good conduct is vital. After all, financial services professionals are trusted with people’s most valuable assets. 

Therefore, financial services employees need to be able to discuss their concerns with their managers to maintain the reputation of their business and sector. 

Anonymous feedback tools can be a simple method for giving finance professionals a forum to whistleblow. Furthermore, feedback tools can be used to keep the finance industry accountable and operating in a psychologically safe environment where proper checks and balances can be maintained at all times. 

This article will explain how Trickle can facilitate anonymous feedback and help financial service companies manage risk.

Why risk management in financial services is vital

Managing business risk in the financial services sector involves maintaining compliance code and completing compulsory training on subjects like fraud detection, credit checks, sanction checks, and other forms of due diligence.

The ramifications of getting these business processes wrong can be far-reaching for financial services companies. For example, if a loan company failed to perform a credit check on a customer before agreeing to pay out a loan, a poor credit score could result in the customer missing payments and the company losing money. 

The impact of bad risk management in financial services

Business risks cost financial services companies millions each year. In 2021 alone, global regulators issued over $5.4 billion in fines for financial services misconduct. In some cases, too many mistakes or breaches of financial services code can sink a business entirely. 

To put the impact of bad employee conduct into perspective, 11% of financial services whistleblowers in the UK in 2020 complained about fraudulent and criminal misconduct at work. 19% of whistleblower complaints were due to regulation breaches, and 7% were reports of confidentiality violations and data mishandling. As a result of complaints in 2020, over two-thirds of whistleblower cases were resolved through employees leaving, resigning, or being disciplined for their conduct.

In the years since 2012, increasing numbers of employees feel comfortable sharing their worries and concerns with senior management, with one in five finance professionals in 2012 saying they feel comfortable enough to whistleblow. Today, that ratio has increased to one in three financial services employees feeling comfortable in approaching their employer with whistleblower information. 

Cultivating a whistleblower-friendly culture begins with setting up a reliable method for promoting vital company/industry values and providing employees with a forum to air their concerns to relevant managers. 

Managing risk starts with engaging employees with your company ethos

It’s essential to provide all the tools and training new hires need to understand a company and industry values.

For instance, FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) compliance in the UK includes compulsory training programmes on topics such as Treating Customers Fairly and Anti-Money Laundering & Counter-Terrorist Financing

Additionally, new hires need to understand the business’ internal compliance procedures and company mission statement. It can be helpful for onboarding teams to provide a company culture platform where employees can see how their colleagues interact and follow their example. 

An employee engagement platform like Trickle offers an easy way to collate company discussion topics and order them into a list of Top 5 priorities. Collecting data on topics that mean the most to employees –– everything from improving customer services to best financial practices – helps teams establish which workplace issues need to be addressed first and which topics need further discussion. Furthermore, it helps establish organisational cohesion with new starters, bringing them up-to-speed quicker on your company’s mission and values. 

Anonymous feedback tools make it safer for whistleblowers to come forward

Workplace culture continually shifts as new employees settle into their roles and others leave to pursue new career goals. As an organisation’s cultural makeup changes, managers must ensure that they regularly check in with their employees and observe working dynamics that may be negatively impacting their work. 

Ensuring that workplace culture is geared towards financial best practices at all times is crucial to maintaining a safe and productive working environment. But, measuring this crucial yet intangible metric can be difficult. Workplace culture surveys can provide teams with valuable insights into how employees feel about their roles and how they live up to their company’s values. 

HR leaders can also use anonymous surveys to delve further into workplace culture topics. Anonymous surveys provide a psychologically safe forum for people to air their concerns about any potential business risks. Risks that they may not feel comfortable sharing if the information can somehow be traced back to them. 

Anonymous platforms like Trickle also provide an open line of communication for whistleblowers. In financial services companies, whistleblowers can Trickle to notify HR teams of any financial misconduct they may witness in their role. Raising conduct issues quickly and anonymously can help financial services companies reduce the devastating impact of poor employee behaviours. 

How Trickle can help with business risk management in financial services

Trickle is designed to provide an engaging and easy-to-use interface where employees can connect, learn from each other and discuss the company culture issues that mean the most to them. 

Anonymity is a key feature of Trickle’s toolkit that can enable whistleblowers to come forward and share their findings openly within a protected environment. Teams can then investigate issues further, intervene and prevent business risks from spiraling out of control. 

Gathering valuable employee feedback can be your best defense in managing risk.

To find out more about Trickle’s benefits in measuring and boosting workplace engagement, get in touch to book a free trial now. 

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