Your 2023 Compliance Checklist

By Gabriela Mendicino

While it feels like the new year has just begun, one glance at the calendar is enough to confirm that 2023 is flying by. Don’t let another day pass by without double-checking that your compliance management process is ready to face whatever changes (or challenges) this year may bring. 

Update your compliance policy. 

New year, new policies: the start of a new year can be an excellent turning point for institutions when updating their internal policies and procedures. Institutions should look back at the compliance issues faced in 2022 when drafting new policy provisions.  

Some of the most common compliance issues that were tackled by ActiveComply customers last year included: 

  • A spike in new accounts for loan officers embracing “influencer” marketing platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels. ActiveComply’s Discovery feature finds new accounts before regulators do.  
  • State social media audits were on the rise last year and will continue to rise in the foreseeable future. With Profile Compliance Scanning, users were able to easily identify missing disclosures for licensees and get them rectified before impending state audits. 
  • Regulators are closing monitoring licensees for having other independent businesses/side gigs with compliance concerns. Users were able to rely on the Websites Collection folder to flag any websites linked to employee social media pages that were not approved by the company. 

Confirm remote workers’ locations. 

Do you know where your loan officers are? While you may scoff and think, “Of course I do”, you may not be so confident when asked to prove it, say, during a state exam or FINRA audit. 

New guidelines for monitoring remote FINRA employees were published at the tail end of 2022 and more state-by-state guidance for mortgage lenders is surely expected. One new key component of state exams - which of your employees work remotely, where are they located, and how can you prove you are properly supervising them? 

Review up-and-coming social media trends. 

With new platforms emerging every day, do you have a clear understanding of the unique risks they pose? For example, Facebook’s evolving business page experience, Alignable’s fair lending and RESPA concerns, and Truth Social’s blurred lines between professional and political affiliations.  

When faced with the prospect of employees self-marketing on a new platform, make sure to familiarize yourself with it first before giving the stamp of approval. Better yet - partner with social media compliance experts to determine which common compliance pitfalls to be on the lookout for.  

Update your workflow. 

A great new year’s resolution is to revamp your cross-training processes and project management. In a time where the market status has led to staff reductions in compliance departments – especially in the mortgage industry - the remaining employees have had to get creative to meet regulatory expectations. Cross-train operations staff on key compliance functions and create clear process flow charts to minimize confusion. Make sure that your compliance policy is readily accessible and easy to navigate and employ automation wherever possible to free up your compliance employee’s valuable time for distinctly manual tasks.  

The best advice that we can share as you prepare to take on 2023 is to review and update your processes often to stay ahead of regulatory changes. Set a recurring event in your calendar at least once a quarter to re-review your policies and procedures, and subscribe to our Compliance Resources blog for regular, digestible updates.