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Compliance trends 2024: What to know 

Every year December and January roll around and people look back in order to move forward. It’s a natural way for us to mark time as we throw one calendar away and start another. But with every opinion and “hot take” we get bored and wonder, “Wasn’t that the same trend we heard about last year?” 

Is a trend that doesn’t change still…trendy?  

This year we challenged our own in-house expert, Alex de Lucena, to think big and bold and to try not just say “AI”. While the topics bubbling up may be similar to what you’ve heard about for years, the ways that they will impact your day-to-day in 2024 are evolving. 

So, without further ado, here are the top 5 topics Alex is counting on seeing more of in 2024—take notes:  

The age of experimentation is upon us: The next year will see the beginning of an influx of AI-derived bells and whistles. 

It’s no secret that AI is here to stay. Regulators aren’t just hinting at, but are now calling AI out this year (look out 2025 when they start offering specific guidance)! But how it’s going to play out should get down to the nitty-gritty this year—and the those most effected? Those buying in.  

  • Buyer be curious – this is the start of a journey the shape of which we do not yet KNOW. The implications of much of this tooling should be considered within a larger AI positioning as banks look to understand  
  • Buyer beware – many of these first-gen ideas will look like they belong in an infomercial five years from now 

The regulators are not done with off-channel comms. 

It’s hard to make this trendy but it’s just the facts. The ubiquity of messaging apps and their ease of use will continue to vex banks. All the work around firm devices has the feel of a stalemate that will be upended as other regulators review messages for unapproved comms. 
Our 2023 survey found that 73% of financial institutions conveyed a lack of faith in the efficacy of prohibitions on employees’ utilization of off-channel communications. And while regulators keep looking, one of them may even find real market abuse (instead of just policy violations).  

Will the silo walls fall this year? 

For years compliance and surveillance have asserted the need to bring down walls between functions. Data lakes and cloud specific strategies were meant to create single sources of insight. ERCMs and compliance specific platforms offer functionality meant to unite roles within a single UI.  

With shrinking budgets and diminishing resources, getting the most bang for the buck is more important than ever. While many of these efforts have aided in cost consolidation and fostered insight, compliance groups still look very much the same as they have for some time, with everyone – financial crimes, reg compliance, surveillance – all playing in their corners. Is this the year one collapses into the other?  

First line meets the second line 

More and more, Line 1 programs are not what they used to be. “Heard it on the street” does not have the ring of winning lexicon it once did. Random samples feel quaint. As firms have built up their Line 1 programs, more and more they are catching up and even eclipsing the more sophisticated programs run for Line 2. The trend has put firms in the position of determining to what degree and how to mesh two programs and share tooling. Consolidation of programs and/or tooling will advance across the coming year.  

Will we ever go back to our day jobs? 

Macroeconomic uncertainty, war, climate change, AI . . . There was a time, not long ago, where the ups and downs of the market seemed most beholden to . . . well, the market. Increasingly, macro factors beyond the day-to-day business of financial institutions act as a second invisible hand playing patty-cake with market whims. It gives the work of compliance a never quite done vibe as new risks are scanned for and analyzed and controls are recalibrated.