The compliance function in banks - consultative document

October 2003

Note: This consultative paper has been superseded by the final version Compliance and the compliance function in banks , published in April 2005.

As part of its ongoing efforts to address bank supervisory issues and enhance sound practices in banking organisations, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (The Committee) is issuing this paper on the compliance function in banking organisations. The purpose of the compliance function is to assist the bank in managing its compliance risk, which can be defined as the risk of legal or regulatory sanctions, financial loss, or loss to reputation a bank may suffer as a result of its failure to comply with all applicable laws, regulations, codes of conduct and standards of good practice (together, "laws, rules and standards"). Compliance risk is sometimes also referred to as integrity risk, because a bank's reputation is closely connected with its adherence to principles of integrity and fair dealing. Banking supervisors must be satisfied that effective compliance policies and procedures are followed and that management takes appropriate corrective action when breaches of laws, rules and standards are identified.

Comments on this consultative document are welcome. They should be submitted to the Secretariat of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision at the Bank for International Settlements, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland by 31 January 2004. Comments may also be submitted via e-mail: baselcommittee@bis.org or by fax: + 41 61 280 9100. Comments on this paper will not be posted on the BIS website.