21 Oct Member Spotlight: Charco & Dique
Charco & Dique is a risk management and regulatory compliance advisory firm based in the brand new district of IJburg, in the east of Amsterdam. The firm was founded six years ago in 2010, by two experienced financial professionals who previously worked for the Dutch regulator AFM. Currently the firm is composed of a specialised team of 21 lawyers, risk managers, economists and compliance officers. Their office consists of glass walls, from which one can view the IJburg bay and sailing ships. This ‘transparency’ is also reflected in the mission they want to accomplish: providing comprehensive and practical insight in the regulatory labyrinth of the financial industry.
Managing Director and Co-Founder Ronald van Dijk explains why Charco & Dique provides an essential service: “Incongruence between financial institutions and financial law is still present. We founded Charco & Dique in an attempt to close that gap. An extensive amount of legislative knowledge is not present in the market, but can be found at our firm. Our job is to analyse and translate the relevant information into the context of our clients.”
Bastiaan Bloemink, Regulatory Advisor at Charco & Dique: “Can you imagine the regulators AFM/DNB/ESMA/EIOPA/ESMA together have published over 933 technical standards and other documents only until last September. For both parties, including the regulators, it is an incredible task to extract comprehensive information from all the documents. Next to these standards, financial institutes have to deal with increasingly more new EU directives and changes in local financial laws. Compliance officers and legal professionals therefore have a difficult job to determine what is relevant for their products or services. Our team is able to build the essential bridge, by complementing each other constantly with perspectives from various professional fields such as legal and finance.”
Ronald van Dijk: “The first thing we immediately concluded from working with our clients, is the task of understanding the big pile of financial laws and technical standards. We also noticed that it costs a lot of time for everyone to keep track of updates. Therefore, we decided to tackle this issue through simplification. The idea of our online platform Ruler was born.“
Ruler is an online tool providing overview of all legislation related to the financial industry at this moment. Besides having a really beautiful interface, it has a very comprehensive structure of legislative documents. Ruler has a smart search function, making it possible to order the results based on specific topics. With Ruler, you are in control to customise your account to your organisations’ needs and thus exactly see what rules apply. Moreover, the platform has an alert on upcoming regulation with changes to consider and the date of entry into force. Ultimately, users can generate compliance and risk reports showing how specific laws are met in the organisation. Ruler is not exclusively for clients of Charco & Dique but is available to financial institutions who wish to simplify their regulatory overview.
Ronald van Dijk: “Many financial services providers struggle with keeping oversight on regulatory updates. Especially for banks the rules are only increasing in the upcoming years. For FinTech service providers, problems are similar to those of bigger institutions, it is just a matter of finding different ways to make them compliant with existing frameworks. In our view, filtering the right information is a crucial task during this process. For example, FinTech companies like crowdfunding platforms are one of the most tightly regulated business models at this moment. These business will only thrive by identifying all applicable laws and, above all, collaborating closely with the client, regulators and regulatory advisors such as our colleagues. At the same time, we think along with innovative FinTech initiatives and provide an advice from product development until the moment a license is required. We like to look at the FinTech industry as an ecosystem where all parts strengthen each other. The network of Holland FinTech provides the perfect platform for all these efforts.“
Bastiaan Bloemink: “We think the current financial legislation already makes a lot possible. Possibly, it should not be changed drastically, but only being formulated based on principles. Principle-based norms allow regulators to exercise freedom. This freedom still depends on the political mandates. Consequently, it will be easier, more flexible and less time consuming to fit in new business models, as long as the activities of those newcomers are clear. Regulation will always be necessary; while Dutch regulators are doing relatively a great job they need to invest more in knowledge regarding markets and technology.
In that sense, our advantage can be found in the competences of our team. We believe in making things simple, and we are able to do this because we have a mutual understanding of regulators and the industry alike.
In the end, putting some genuine interest and effort in proper relationship management will definitely bring you further. We are glad to have a prominent spot in the RegTech field and hope to keep guiding clients towards a prosperous, but transparent, future.