Five Minutes With Nick West, Head of Learning, Innovation and Delivery at UK Finance

Recently, we caught up with Nick West, Head of Learning, Innovation and Delivery, to find out what’s in store for 2021.

Like many industries, financial services has been under enormous pressure this year due to Covid-19 and the economic fallout that followed. Depending on their role, staff may have seen their workloads increase, dealt with more complex customer cases, worked remotely and/or been required to steer the firm out of danger. In a highly-regulated industry like financial services, there can be no room for complacency – which is why, despite the challenges firms are facing, effective compliance training and risk management is more important than ever.

At Access, we partner with the trade association UK Finance to help deliver up-to-date and engaging training materials to its members. Recently, we caught up with Nick West, Head of Learning, Innovation and Delivery, to find out what’s in store for 2021. 

Could you tell us about your partnership with Access?

The Access Group has been the partner in our Learning Hub since the inception of UK Finance in July 2017. Many of our members don’t have the capacity, or the capability, to build their own e-learning programme in an industry with such a high degree of compliance and regulatory requirements. The support and guidance of an experienced voice is vital to ensure they can access what they need, when they need it.

Broadly speaking, what are the top five compliance priorities for financial services businesses going into 2021?

Understanding and quickly adapting to the outcomes brought about by Brexit will be a key priority, as will data protection and cyber security. Also high on the agenda are vulnerable customers’ management and cultural management and measurement. Last, but not least, professionals will need to ensure they have clear KYC processes and checks in place.

What are the key challenges your members are facing and how have you adapted your training programmes to address them?

One of the key challenges is adapting to a flexible working world. Like a lot of providers, we have moved content online and are looking at how we can make this available as and when – specifically we are doing this through partnerships with companies like The Access Group, giving members immediate access to regulatory and compliance activity that better suits their needs.

What isn’t clear is the exact impact this will have on the changing world – are people going to genuinely suffer from ‘Zoom fatigue’? How will we enable people to network from a shed? Nobody has a clear answer or view across this landscape and our response has been to focus on our people – not just internally, but by working with flexible and adaptable SMEs whom we are able to put in front of our members in any circumstance and trust that they will deliver each and every time.

With so much content available online, how do you ensure your training resources cut through the noise, especially in areas as important as compliance?

As the voice for banking and finance, UK Finance is uniquely placed – our members come to us, but it’s our expertise that means they stay.

We ensure that we keep our policy people front and centre, leading sessions, speaking with members and helping them to shape their thinking; whether it’s a briefing, an event such as the Digital Innovation Summit or one of our Academies, our content is built by those with the knowledge and experience to maintain our voice.

Within companies, how can L&D teams work with their colleagues in HR and compliance to develop positive workplace cultures that support compliance, even when most people are working remotely?

Culture is the central hub for success in all a business does. There are so many facets and it is a hugely broad topic. One simple thing we can all do is lead by example.

Whether we are leaders or not, it doesn’t matter. How you behave and the decisions you make are crucial. Your team, your colleagues and your customers see these decisions every day and know instinctively, just like you, whether they are right and drive the business forward or are a hindrance. Lead and act in the way you know is right, making sure you consider all the compliance and regulatory aspects.

The UK Finance Learning Hub is powered by Access’ industry-leading software. 

Find out more about our Digital Learning and Compliance solutions or book a demo.

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