Compliance week – Interview with Xavier Begue, Chief Compliance Officer

On the occasion of Europ Assistance’s Compliance Week – which takes place from July 12 to 16 – Xavier Begue, Chief Compliance Officer, answered the various questions that arise concerning the implementation of a compliance framework for financial crime so that Europ Assistance can continue to be a safe, trusted and sustainable company.

INTERVIEW WITH XAVIER BEGUE

1# What do you consider to be our top 3 challenges on Financial Crime today?

First, I believe that one of our top challenges is our complex landscape caused by increasingly complex regulatory requirements and sophisticated schemes of financial criminals. To overcome this complexity, we need to keep up with changes in regulation. EA Group performs business in multiple jurisdictions and needs to implement globally consistent policies and control frameworks to fight against financial crime. We should also collaborate with enforcement agencies that tackle this issue in a transversal manner and facilitate compliance through ongoing monitoring.

Cyber-crime is also a big challenge for us as cyber criminals exploit weaknesses in remote. We need to protect our company and our customers, for EA to keep being a trusted and sustainable business.

Finally, the breaking down of operational silos can be challenging. Indeed, threat of financial crime has become so diversified and sophisticated that each employee must be aware and empowered to identify Financial Crime risks and recognize Compliance as a true business partner. In a nutshell, we should share, support each other and fight as one.

2# How has the current pandemic situation affected financial crime compliance role within the insurance industry?

The pandemic brought exceptional changes in the way customers purchase and consume services and in the way they interact with insurance companies.

The lockdowns also lead to an increase in the number of customers that use Internet to buy insurance or to file requests which lead to a growth of online transactions and e-interaction with insureds. This trend is very likely to continue.

At the same time, the pandemic was a catalyst for many financial criminals and fraudsters not only to target individuals who suffered consequences of the crisis but also companies.

In this context, a robust financial crime compliance framework makes the difference. We also need to increase the speed and strength in responding to evolving threats thanks to ever more efficient technological tools.

3# What would you suggest to improve our awareness on the threat of financial crime in our everyday working life?

The motto of this year’s Compliance Week is: “Financial Crimes are not only in the movies”. This means each one of us needs to remain vigilant, be conscious as we can all be victims or pushed to be misused.

I believe that the three words: Stop, Challenge, Protect launched by the campaign against fraud sums up well the idea. You should not be rushed: take time to understand all the requests you receive. Collecting all the details you need to know to proceed, gathering support and raising your concerns before any doubt are essential steps.

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