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Breaking Down Compliance Barriers

July 11, 2022
4 mins read

When you have a bold idea that breaks the mould, the last thing you want is to have it crushed by rules and guidelines. In a lot of traditional companies, that’s what people come to expect from Compliance teams: idea blocking and red tape. 

But that’s the wrong way to look at compliance! Here at Marshmallow, we’re building the Compliance team of the future - Compliance 2.0. In the words of our Head of Compliance, Jaimin Patel: “our department helps, not hinders; enables, not prevents; collaborates, not opposes.”

Let’s take a look at how our Compliance team does all of those things, and why the department is so important to the work we do...

Why does compliance matter? 

On a very basic level, the compliance team is essential to our work because they defend our licenses. 

But what’s a license? According to our Assurance Director Richard Wood: “Each of Marshmallow’s regulated identities (Marshmallow Insurance Limited and Marshmallow Financial Services Limited) is given a license by the regulator. Licenses essentially mean the company has permission to do their work. They are given on the condition that applicable regulations and laws are followed. 

If we lose our licenses then that’s it - no more policies, no more customers, and no more jobs!”

By protecting our licenses, Compliance makes sure that we’re always able to keep working. Without a strong Compliance team, we wouldn’t understand regulation, and we wouldn’t understand the risks that come with high-growth environments. We would - quite literally - be lost! And our future would be pretty uncertain!

How does compliance support our mission? 

Aside from making sure things don’t go wrong, compliance also empowers us to achieve our company goals. 

Here at Marshmallow, our mission is to build new ways to support people in their hour of need. To do that, we’re investing in technology that makes them safer in the first place. And we're making products that are accessible to as many people as possible. 

It might come as a surprise, but the regulators’ mission isn't too dissimilar from our own. We both want to do everything we can to treat customers fairly and to make their lives better! So by keeping us in line with the guidelines set out by regulators, the Compliance team also keeps us in line with our overarching aim: to put customers’ needs first and foremost. A win-win-win situation for us, our regulators and our customers!

Doesn’t compliance hinder innovation?

Not at all! While you might think rules and regulations go against our aim to revolutionise the insurance space, it’s actually the opposite. Following regulation correctly means we can successfully ship new and innovative products. 

In fact, Compliance is one of our most innovative teams. They make our ambition a reality by taking our boldest ideas and adapting them to incorporate regulations. 

Just ask Marshmallow’s Junior Compliance Officer, Dominika Chmurzynska who helps to manage our #Ask-Compliance Slack channel: “The Compliance team often has to solve a lot of dilemmas by thinking about every side of the story - the Marshmallower’s perspective, the customer’s perspective, and the regulator’s perspective. We spend a lot of our time finding solutions that suit everyone.” That can lead to some pretty out-of-the-box thinking.

How does the Compliance Team collaborate with other teams at Marshmallow?

We’re building a culture of collaboration around compliance. The Compliance team is here to enhance other teams’ ideas by making sure they meet regulatory requirements and are delivered in ways that protect and respect customers. 

Unlike at larger competitor companies, the Compliance team at Marshmallow is involved from the beginning of projects. That means they can work with product teams to ensure that products are being built in the best possible way.

When we created our Marshmallow app, Compliance was part of the discussion process from the get-go. The Compliance team worked with the Growth and App team, finding ways to build an engaging product while aligning with regulatory guidelines. As a result, our app was successfully launched in record time without any setbacks. 

But, there’s still work to be done. We want more of our Marshmallowers to feel comfortable in reaching out to Compliance to discuss their ideas. That way, we can continue to move fast knowing that projects will hit ‘go live’ dates. 

Here are some of the ways our Compliance team collaborate with the business: 

  • Embedded Compliance Officers - Different teams in Marshmallow will have a dedicated, embedded, compliance officer who will form an integral part of that team, offering on-the-go advice and support. 
  • Monthly Compliance Newsletter - The team shares details of what they’ve been working on individually and as a team, and compliance stats over the past month. 
  • Compliance training - Everyone at Marshmallow has compliance training to make sure we’re all respecting the regulations in place and doing our work in a way that’s fair for customers. 
  • Compliance channel in Slack - An informal system where anyone can ask questions around compliance and then the matter can be escalated if needed.
  • Open desk - The team is more than happy to discuss ideas face-to-face and encourages Marshmallowers to have a chat when in the office or to block out some time in the team's diary. 

If you’re looking to work in a collaborative environment where following the rules is actually about going against the grain, make sure to check out our current openings here.