ACA Compliance Group opens new office in Birmingham to expand European presence

October 17, 2019

ACA’s new Analysis and Review Centre provides a dedicated compliance resource hub to support financial service firms with their essential everyday regulatory responsibilities

ACA Compliance Group (ACA) today announced the expansion of its European presence with the opening of a new office in Birmingham. From this new location, ACA will offer a full suite of services designed to strengthen and streamline financial services firms’ governance, risk and compliance arrangements. 

Key to the services offered from this new office will be ACA’s Analysis and Review Centre (ARC). The ARC helps to reduce the workload of Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) and in-house compliance teams by allowing them to pass on executional regulatory responsibilities to ACA. This on-demand service provides an efficient, scalable and cost-effective compliance resource for financial services firms across the UK. 

According to the 2019 Thomson Reuters Cost of Compliance report, the number of firms that outsource all or part of their compliance function has remained consistent, ranging between 24% and 28%, year-on-year since 2016.  Over a third (36%) of global financial services firms now outsource all or part of their compliance function. Of the firms surveyed, 53% said they chose to outsource any or all of their compliance functionality for additional assurance on compliance processes, while 48% cited a lack of in-house compliance skills as the reason for outsourcing.

Philip Naughton, Partner, ACA Compliance Group, said: “Heightened levels of global regulation combined with increasing scrutiny and cost pressures place CCOs and compliance teams under mounting pressure. Where firms do not want to bring in additional internal resources, they can turn to our Analysis and Review Centre and tap into a pool of highly skilled compliance professionals. This flexible resource can be scaled to meet the needs of clients, involves little to no ramp-up or training and reduces key person risk and hiring processes.”

The launch of the UK ARC aims to mirror the success of the ACA’s US based ARC, which recently celebrated its five-year anniversary. Established in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2014, the team of dedicated and skilled employees operating the US ARC has grown significantly, becoming a major division of ACA Compliance Group. Originally set up to offer e-Communications surveillance review services, the US ARC now provides more than twenty services to over one thousand firms. Typical projects managed by the US ARC include marketing reviews and electronic communications monitoring and network expert consultation chaperoning. 

In addition to its ARC services, ACA provides skilled resources on a short to long-term basis to assist firms during times of need, such as personnel transitions or extended absences. For example, firms turn to ACA in providing maternity and medical leave cover, supporting firms as they identify a full-time hire, lending additional support for compliance-related projects, assisting in building or rebuilding compliance programs, and handling regulatory review issues.

David Fisken, Head of Business Attraction at the West Midlands Growth Company, added: “ACA Compliance Group’s expansion into Birmingham is testament to the growing strength and prominence of the region’s business, professional and financial services sector. The region has earned itself a reputation for its high value business environment thanks to an abundant pool of highly skilled talent and rapid growth in the number of global firms consolidating operations here. As an international, market leading brand, we look forward to welcoming ACA Compliance Group to this roster, as a fantastic success story of the region”.