Aqera’s Business Review System (BRS), the first commercially available online system designed to help stamp out the mis-selling of financial products, has passed a series of rigorous, independent tests by experienced compliance professionals. The tests, organised by The Young Company, aimed to establish the system’s functionality and usability for compliance officers and staff reviewing large numbers of new business proposals.
The team of reviewers, each with many years business review experience, took just 45 minutes to familiarise themselves with the system and to start using BRS to record the results of their reviews. They required a training session of under one hour on the 200-screen system before being able to use it successfully.
Aqera BRS is the first software package designed to support and enhance the new business review function in regulated life and pensions providers. It enables companies to ensure that the business they place on their books meets consumers’ needs and fulfils FSA requirements for demonstrable systems and controls. This is particularly important now that the FSA has, since December 2001, engendered a stricter regulatory regime where the cost of compliance failure is arguably much more severe.
David Young, Principal of The Young Company, said: “The key feature we were looking for was the ease with which the system could be used by staff working in busy environments, to facilitate the rapid review of business while providing a consistent, high-integrity source of risk based compliance data. Our compliance professionals felt that BRS would add significant benefit to business review functions within regulated firms. We were extremely impressed by the speed with which one could become operational on the system after less than an hour’s tutorial.”
Ed Holt, managing director at Aqera, said: “We are delighted that Aqera BRS has received this independent accolade for usability. We design all our systems for a broad community of users – providers, advisers, consumers and the regulator – so usability and demonstrable ease of use is a critical success factor for us.”
Aqera BRS automates the business review process, providing a consistent review approach, regulatory demonstrability and valuable management information. It has been designed for new business processing and historic business reviews, for example endowment review. The system has been developed in conjunction with the specialist financial services regulatory consultants at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, who will also supply consultancy and implementation services to Aqera’s customers.
Using Aqera BRS, organisations are able to follow the FSA’s lead in taking a risk-based approach to compliance monitoring. The detailed management information Aqera BRS provides allows firms to focus attention on high-risk product and sales areas, through risk-based sampling of new business.