As a compliance officer I have one foot in society
‘Ten years ago I completed my studies in notarial law. I was intently looking for work, but the labour market was in a far from optimal state. So I started doing administrative work at ABN AMRO – assessing credit applications, that kind of thing.’
In any direction
‘I soon applied internally for another position. Which is the nice thing about working for a large company like this: you can go in any direction. The bank furthermore encourages you to grow. After holding various positions, I started as a compliance officer in 2018.'
‘Together with my colleagues, I work on creating an open and transparent company in which people cooperate with respect and act with integrity. As such, we as an organisation must move with views in society. As a business compliance officer, I give internal advice to, among others, the people who develop processes and come up with products for the bank.'
‘At ABN AMRO, we constantly check whether these products still meet social standards. In my role, I take into account not only current laws and regulations, but also the rapidly changing attitudes in society. To give an example, we want customers to borrow money responsibly. With a revolving loan, you can redraw what you have paid off, which means you can be in debt for a long time. This isn't always in either the customer's or the bank's interest. Should we still offer such a loan? These are the kinds of questions that I look into.’
‘We are also concerned with sustainability at ABN AMRO, an area we obviously cannot stay behind in. For example, we offer a discount on a mortgage for a house with an A-label, or we charge a lower rate for loans used to make a house more sustainable.'
‘In my work, I also focus on internal processes in addition to our products. For example, if there is a colleague who feels too much pressure from above, I will talk to him or her. In this way I try to find out whether it’s a personal experience or a structural problem. In the latter case, we look at what needs to be done to improve the working environment.’
Communicating with colleagues
‘As a compliance officer, you need to be knowledgeable about the entire organisation. You know the products, processes and all the different departments. I am constantly communicating – with colleagues from compliance, but also with the legal and operational departments, for example.’
‘And that is also the biggest challenge: there are an enormous number of different interests involved when we have to make a decision, and not all of them mesh equally well with each other. Finding the right balance in discussions is essential. It is up to me to ensure that the interest I represent is properly considered.'
Between bank and society
‘What do I like most about my job? That it’s very visible. For example, if I advise the bank on a product, I see this reflected immediately. I have real influence because I'm balancing between society and the bank. I truly have one foot in society.'