Financial-Services Institution Acts to Prevent Compliance Failures

<p>A major bank&rsquo;s 6.3 million-pound fine in April 2006, following misconduct in its handling of share trades in two firms, has prompted the U.K. institution to use a novel approach to provide &ldquo;nuggets&rdquo; of regulatory and compliance-based information to employees. </p><p>This takes place via mobile performance support delivered to its staff&rsquo;s PDAs and BlackBerrys and also includes key learning points related to data protection.  </p>The mobile delivery system that is making this possible is supplied by learning and mobile content management technology provider, Giunti Labs. The content is being authored and developed for deployment by Eukleia Training Limited, a specialist provider of compliance training services for the financial-services sector.<br /><br />The learners&rsquo; test results &mdash; returned by Giunti Labs&rsquo; mobile learning platform &mdash; are being sent and monitored by the institution&rsquo;s learning and talent management system, provided by partner Cornerstone OnDemand.<br /> <br />Angus Turpin, managing director of Giunti Labs UK, explained that three key issues have prompted this approach: <br /><br />Many organizations in the financial-services sector, notably retail banks, reserve all of their network capacity during working hours for business operations. This leaves no capacity on the network for the vital e-learning programs that are needed to keep staff up-to-date with regulatory and compliance issues.<br /><br />To prevent unauthorized access to confidential information, Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulations, along with bank regulations, prohibit staff from using Bluetooth or other wireless networks with their laptops. Consequently, much of the staff in the financial-services sector relies on BlackBerrys to send and receive e-mail.<br /><br />Since so much of their working life is spent doing their jobs under intense pressure, staff in the financial-services sector rarely has time to spend 40 minutes of downtime working through an e-learning program.<br /><br />&ldquo;Consequently the opportunity for and ability to carry out e-learning in working hours, using the organization&rsquo;s network, is severely limited,&rdquo; Turpin said.<br /> <br />&ldquo;The answer &mdash; at least to three divisions within this major U.K. financial-services institution &mdash; is to develop compliance and data-protection-related learning materials, with accompanying tests, then make those available to staff via a number of mobile learning options.<br /> <br />&ldquo;While staff don&rsquo;t have the time to spend on a 40-minute e-learning course, they can easily find time to take the course in, say, 10-minute chunks via their mobile. A further advantage of this system &mdash; which, of course, takes up none of their employer&rsquo;s network bandwidth &mdash; is that any changes in regulations will involve altering only one module rather than an entire course.<br /> <br />&ldquo;Mobile and traditional e-learning are complementary formats,&rdquo; he continued. &ldquo;There is a very real need to deliver the core, basic facts to time-pressured professionals and a mobile device is an ideal way to achieve this &mdash; even if it doesn&rsquo;t completely replace the need for more in-depth learning.&rdquo; <br /> <br />The mobile learning materials can include video &mdash; if it&rsquo;s supported &mdash; and conclude with a series of multiple-choice questions. The user&rsquo;s answers are recorded and uploaded in real time to the Giunti Labs&rsquo; server, for eventual transfer to the financial-services institution&rsquo;s talent management system.<br /> <br />&ldquo;The test answers can be marked in real time,&rdquo; said Turpin, &ldquo;but most of our clients update the users&rsquo; results every 12 or 24 hours. These test results are an indication that staff have received training and that there is an implied level of understanding which is a part of the training and competence requirement. The FSA views this positively.&rdquo;<br /> <br />Turpin revealed that a number of other financial-services institutions, including banks based in Germany and France, are also in discussions with Giunti Labs about adopting a similar arrangement to ensure their staff&rsquo;s compliance with the sector&rsquo;s legal requirements.<br /> <br />&ldquo;We believe that this mobile learning approach will benefit other industries too,&rdquo; said Turpin. &ldquo;Any industry in which employers have a number of remote workers who need to have access to key information, such as health and safety information or product updates, could use this performance support system to excellent effect.&rdquo;<br />

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