Sierra Credit demonstrates Fair Lending compliance to both their Bank and regulators With Help From Compli
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.
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.