金融庁「基本方針」が示唆する経営者の意識改革 / Reform of management awareness suggested by the Financial Services Agency “Basic Policy” 













Hiroyuki Okamoto

 “Compliance” continues to be an important management issue for financial instruments business operators (hereinafter referred to as “FIBO”). In recent years, every time a FIBO commits a compliance violation, authorities have demanded that the violating company pays enormous regulatory fines and take compliance improvement measures. On the other hand, compliance breach causes not only financial costs for the company concerned but also a great loss in the form of reputational loss and dismissal of individual officers and employees. We must not forget both.

The Financial Services Agency has already set new policies such as “Financial Inspection and Supervision Concept and Procedure (Inspection and Supervision Basic Policy)” (June 2018) and ” Procedure and Concept of Inspection and Supervision on Compliance and Risk Management (Basic management policy on Compliance and Risk Management) ” (October of the same year) has been announced.

At the time of their publication, the media such as newspapers and magazines tended to focus on the theme of “abolition of inspection manuals,” but the latent concept  of both basic policies is ” reform of management awareness” and their “frustration with the international competitiveness of Japanese companies”, including FIBO.

Despite the confusions in the workplaces, the authorities themselves do not seem to pay much attention to such caused by the “abolition of inspection manuals.” The abolition can be seen as appearance of “impulsion” of the authorities trying to steer their course on inspection and supervision from “form” to “substantial” in a hurry. But It doesn’t seem to have as much significance as the executives and compliance officers in charge of compliance in the workplaces.

For the compliance department, which spearheads compliance in the frontlines, the contents of both basic policies announced this time have great significance. The history of the “Inspection Manual” begins with the “Inspection Manual for Deposit-Taking Institutions” (July 1999) published by the Financial Supervisory Agency during the time when the present Financial Services Agency was called as such. Almost 20 years have passed since then. The generational change of compliance officers has also begun. Many FIBOs have taken over the in-house “compliance and risk management system” created by their predecessors and such systems have continued and remained as before to this day.

However, it is clear from recent financial institution scandals that the “existing compliance and risk management system” will gradually cease to stand in the future. Indeed the “Compliance and Risk Management Basic Policy” states that “the abolition of inspection manuals does not deny the practice that has been established so far”, but states also that it is intended to help financial institutions start from the current practices and to facilitate their ingenuity for better practices. ”

There is no doubt that the compliance officers of each company will be further challenged with their daily studies and professional abilities. However, it is necessary for the management to keep in mind that what is being asked more than that is “reform of the management’s consciousness”.

(This manuscript is translated into English from the Japanese original text by the writer for some readers convenience only. The original is a partial correction and addition of the content posted on the writer’s personal blog on August 23, 2018.)