Meet the team - Melanie Jones
We talk to Melanie Jones, a Senior Compliance Manager, about how Arbuthnot Latham keeps pace with regulation while supporting businesses, intermediaries, and high-net-worth individuals in achieving their financial ambitions.
What does your role entail?
Compliance plays a critical role in the work that happens behind the scenes in Arbuthnot Latham’s client-centric approach.
Financial services are highly regulated, so there are many things we must consider when supporting our clients in achieving their financial ambitions. So much of the regulation centres around putting clients at the heart of what we do, ensuring what we communicate is clear, informative, and supports our clients to make sound financial decisions.
How do you ensure the bank keeps pace with regulation?
One of Compliance’s key responsibilities is to keep abreast of regulatory change and embed it in our business in a way that improves the overall client experience. We continually cascade regulatory information to colleagues about changes on the horizon. This works well and is supported by our experienced management team, who we meet regularly.
There has always been the question of whether regulation stifles innovation due to the additional bureaucracy and fear of getting things wrong. However, the ambitions behind regulation are very positive - after all, it has a direct impact on the level of trust that clients have in firms and the wider financial industry.
How have you prepared the bank for New Consumer Duty?
The New Consumer Duty is a significant change in regulation.
It is not every day that a regulator introduces a new foundational principle for business, so we were quick to recognise that this was not simply an upgrade to Treating Customers Fairly (TCF).
We spent time focussing on planning – which for a bank like Arbuthnot Latham was, in many ways, about evidencing that our client-focused culture is already aligned with the new regulations.
This did not mean we could be complacent, but it provided an opportunity for us to run the rule over our products and services through a new lens. We brought together teams from across the business to objectively challenge the way we operate. There have been numerous long days and a lot of meetings to prepare for the new rules.
Our view is that work on the New Consumer Duty does not really end but is merely the beginning of a new journey of continuous improvement, with a clear focus on ensuring the best customer outcomes.
If you could highlight one of Arbuthnot Latham’s unique selling points (USPs), what would it be?
The bank has a family atmosphere, and staff here have a culture of mutual respect and collaboration - whether you operate in a client-facing role or on the operational side of the business.
I believe this sets us apart from our competitors and helps us truly be a relationship-driven firm.
What are the aims and plans for the year ahead?
From a personal perspective, I hope to take a holiday to Australia next year to celebrate my brother's 50th birthday!
From a professional perspective, embedding Consumer Duty is a key priority, with a renewed focus on testing consumer outcomes. We also have more work to do in supporting colleagues' understanding of Consumer Duty from a practical perspective to ensure it becomes integral to our business activities, not just an afterthought. We will do this while continuing to perform our monitoring and advising our business. It is shaping up to be another busy year for the team.
Do you have any personal or professional highlights so far this year?
Each year staff vote for individuals for various awards where a member of staff has gone above and beyond in their work, which culminates in an awards ceremony to celebrate those that have been nominated. I was delighted to attend as a nominee this year, and while I did not win, it is a magnificent event to toast individual and team successes and recognise the demanding work that happens behind the scenes.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Ten years ago, I learned to scuba dive, and I loved it so much that I now go on a diving holiday each year. It is a privilege to experience a different world - to see amazing marine life and visit incredible holiday destinations. Scuba diving has taught me how to keep calm in certain environments, and I have gained a new respect for nature. On dry land, I have recently found a love for gardening and enjoy pottering in my garden on the weekends.
Finally, what is your favourite day of the working week and why?
It would have to be Wednesdays for sure! It is the day that our whole team is in the office at the same time. We also catch up in a team meeting, which is abuzz with news, views, debates and opinions. Who said Compliance is not exciting!
Meet the team – Kevin Barrett
Our head of private and commercial banking discusses how Arbuthnot Latham are supporting business owners, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals in the current climate.
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