Regulations are paramount. Regardless of your seniority or experience, if you are not up to date with the relevant regulations, you are at risk of providing incorrect advice to your clients (internal or external). This principle rings particularly true in the corporate treasury and banking space in Asia Pacific, where there are constant regulatory updates.
Indeed, the frequency of regulatory change across Asia is so high, and variation in rulebooks between countries so marked, that as a region it presents treasurers with special challenges versus other geographies. How can APAC-focused treasurers ensure that their regulatory knowledge is consistently topped up so that they are able to assess the impact of changes on their organisations and develop appropriate responses?
Subscribing to circulars from regulators is a must. Regulators provide frequent updates and are the most reliable source. Signing up for news and circular alerts from the relevant regulators vie email is simple and effective and an essential first step in ensuring a solid platform for dealing with ever changing rulebooks.
Materials and online services from law firms can be very valuable. Various law firms often provide useful regulatory intelligence in the form of alerts, newsletters, client briefings or host talks that summarise and interpret the updated regulatory position covering various jurisdictions. Their interpretations are often informed by their own participation in consultations with their respective local regulators, industry groups or clients. These materials and talks provide an inside view into developments in local regulations.
International firms, such as Clifford Chance, also operate comprehensive online portals which provide access to thought leadership publications on a cross jurisdictional basis, reflecting timely insight and views on various regulatory topics.
Keeping all the circulars and materials in one place is highly advisable. A practical tip on this front would be to keep a depositary of all the circulars, published materials and updates (by topic) you receive from regulators and law firms. We all know how cluttered an email inbox can get, and keeping a centralised database containing all these updates will make your life much easier when you need to revisit these materials.
Engagement with industry bodies can be very fruitful. We advise treasurers to try to get involved with the various bodies that are active in the industry, whether this be in a formal, consultative process or in a more informal, social context. Either way, you will get valuable insights into what these bodies (including peers within these bodies) think about the current regulatory landscape and upcoming regulated changes.
Lastly, always try and make time for regulatory consultations as they are issued. Looking out for and then engaging with regulatory consultations will really help you anticipate any regulatory changes and prevents you from being wrong-footed by any new regulations that may be in the pipeline.
These are the main tried-and-true methods to keep one consistently updated of, and prepared for, the ever-changing regulatory landscape of Asia Pacific and beyond.