It’s not always easy to talk about compliance. But when your lending partner needs to prove its clients’ compliance to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you may not have a choice.
Julie Kim, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Sierra Credit, knew that her organization had to demonstrate full Fair Lending compliance to maintain a relationship with its bank. The challenge was convincing her co-workers. As an indirect auto lender based in Southern California, Sierra Credit is too small to be directly regulated by the CFPB, but that doesn’t mean its activities are off the agency’s radar. In assessing a large financial institution, the CFPB doesn’t just look at the organization in question, but at the vast network of its vendors, clients, and other third-party relationships.
“Our lender is pressuring everyone about compliance,” says Julie. “They conduct an audit every six months. When I first started, it was a 30-minute conversation. Now, I’m spending two hours with the auditors going over compliance. Their compliance questions and expectations have grown significantly.”
And while Julie was doing her best to ensure Sierra Credit didn’t violate the CFPB, she had a hard time spreading the word among the rest of her team. As she told us in Compli’s latest testimonial: “The biggest challenge to compliance that we come up against is really educating our employees.”
Why? Because compliance isn’t exactly a breezy topic.
“I work in legal and compliance,” says Julie. People think I’m a nag, like, ‘Avoid her at all costs.’ When I call someone’s extension, the person freaks out when they see my name pop up, and sometimes I’m just asking a question.”
Facing a tougher and tougher regulatory environment, and a workforce that didn’t fully grasp the risks they inadvertently court for their bank, Julie sought a different approach to compliance. She found what she was searching for in Compligo, and education was one of the first benefits she saw.
“The fact that Compligo is a cloud-based, web-based system makes it really easy to have employees access it from anywhere,” she says.
Watch Julie's Story
Supported by a greater understanding of compliance across her organization, and armed with detailed reporting data, Julie now sends out a weekly employee newsletter that scores each department’s performance. The email motivates everyone at Sierra Credit, and supervisors—who have become compliance cheerleaders—follow up with individual subordinates to make sure the company stays on the right track, from top to bottom.
Julie has started to see other benefits, too:
“We do our own collecting and servicing. Having employees knowing what the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act says you should do or shouldn’t do—all that has been really helpful. We have more content customers. We don’t have as many complaints.”
“Our employees are realizing this is a big deal,” she adds. “And, actually, if we approach it this way, we have happier customers, and that ultimately helps us. They’re starting to realize that.”
If you’re in a position like Julie’s at your organization, you know how valuable—and rare—support for your role can be. Compligo not only makes your job easier, but helps others better understand and engage in compliance.
Why not give a try? Your employees, lender, and customers will thank you for it.