Working towards global compliance

Ragnhild Oudkerk – Compliance Officer Wholesale, Rural & Retail

Compliance is a field in motion. From ticking and ticking rules, to actively contributing to the long-term vision: how do we implement legislation and regulations and at the same time deal well with our customers and our social interests?'.

At Compliance, I work on the implementation of and compliance with laws and regulations. In doing so, I keep an eye on the future: ‘This may be okay now, but what will it be like in five years’ time? In addition, behaviour and culture within Rabobank are subjects that I regularly deal with. For example, how can we make our workplace even more transparent, open and diverse? The compliance profession is therefore multifaceted and offers a great deal of room for thought. What can be difficult is that if your advice is used to prevent a problem, nobody can see it. So you don’t always add visible value. But getting progress going and steering it in a sustainable direction, brings a lot of value to the organization. You have to make it clear you are sitting at the table for this purpose.

Global issues

Our compliance team works for Market and Treasury and currently employs seven people. Given all the changes and laws and regulations that are coming our way, this could grow in the future. There is one global role in our Markets & Treasury, and I fulfill it – with the help of my team members, of course. If Rabobank implements laws and regulations or policies worldwide, advises on business proposals or works on other matters with a global reach, then it’s up to me. I inform my colleagues from other countries, act as a beacon of questions for them and try to implement policies in those locations in the same way’.

Big party

What I have been working on is our swap dealer license in America: a license to trade in derivatives there. The American regulations on derivatives are very strict. And in order to qualify for the licence, your organisation must be in good order. Questions from the regulator must be answered within 72 hours and all relevant communication about a transaction must also be available within that time frame. Is each customer well identified and provided with the correct classifications? We discovered one of our systems said A and B, while the other said J and K, about exactly the same customer. In order to obtain the license, this had to be in order. The current state of affairs: we have been registered since 1 April and our business in America can continue to grow. In New York, this milestone was celebrated with a big party. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend, but it is a success of which I am proud.

Home and away

“I have two children at home, age seven and age six. That’s why, at first, I wasn’t so keen to travel a lot. But because of my global role, I ended up on the plane more and more often. And I have to admit I like it now. If everything is well organised at home – which often works well – it’s nice to concentrate on my work for a while. For the most part, I’m in the Netherlands. The workload is high here, but I can largely organise my time myself. So I regularly go home on time. I pick up the children in a relaxed way, prepare dinner and in the evening and early morning I work on what I have missed. It’s not the punch clock but your work that counts. That’s very nice. Although I often hear from the home front that I secretly work more because of this flexibility. This is because I really like the work.”

Shake hands

“Talking about travelling: through the secondment program of Compliance, every year a number of colleagues are allowed to go to another location, somewhere in the world, for a period of about five weeks. When the visa is complete, I will soon be going to Hong Kong for five weeks. It’s very cool that Rabobank offers opportunities like this. I’m sure I learn a lot from this secondment, but my goal is also to provide knowledge: provide training and tell about the policy that we are rolling out from Utrecht. I look forward to meeting the people there in person. After that, it’s a lot easier to work together with everyone you’ve shaken hands with.”

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