Given that trust is the very foundation of banking and financial institutions (FI), it is crucial for this sector to maintain the integrity of the financial system and commit to the interests of their stakeholders (shareholders, employees, investors). Based on our experience, we identified specific challenges for each line of defense within the industry. In addition to that, we observed banks, FI and trusts offices facing challenges of decision to wind down high-risk portfolios or exit clients operating in either high risk jurisdictions or sectors. They deemed it necessary as conducting business with a high-risk party can significantly affect their profitability and tarnish their reputation due to heavy fines or penalties by regulators. However the act of ‘de-risking’ has the potential to adversely affect your commercial activities as well as have detrimental impact on global growth, as a result of restraints on the availability of financing.
As former board members, supervisory and tax specialists, Philip Sidney understands the needs of regulatory authorities. We have supported banks and FI in taking reasonable and necessary measures on customers, accounts and transactions. Therefore we can assist you remedial action if and to the extent needed. We understand that no businesses can thrive without taking on risks, so we are here to help you determine the type of risks and how much risks you are willing to take to achieve your business goals (risk appetite).

Philip Sidney believes that “you take more compliance where needed, less where possible”. This would help cultivate trust in your organization; strengthen relations with your stakeholders and most importantly, achieve commercial success.

It is our vision that a credit-, financial institution or trust company should be a company that stakeholders, and the business communities in which the company operates, trust. Compliance risk management is key to earn and keep trust in your company. An effective compliance set-up will assist your company in meeting its regulatory and other compliance obligations. This will enhance the reputation of your company and protect your company from losses or damages. At present regulations are, to a large extent, principles based and our aim is to protect companies not only ‘just’ against ‘undercompliance’, we will also protect companies against ‘overcompliance’.

The Compliance Charter and Framework (CCF) must result in a regular updated compliance risk identification and assessment, compliance risk mitigation, compliance risk monitoring, business tracking and risk reporting, as stated in the CCF and required by the competent authority. Our goal is to increase trust for your stakeholders by further increasing the first line’s awareness of compliance risks and support them in their efforts to identify and assess compliance risks resulting from the business strategy and to a customize the risk based compliance policies, processes and procedures linked to the business activities.

Part of the CCF is the compliance framework which comprises the principles, processes and tools to identify, assess and manage integrity risks. The compliance framework needs to be further implemented such as the set-up of a “Compliance Risk Management map”, which describes all relevant regulations / compliance obligations and compliance risks and how to controls and monitor these in the first and second line, the “compliance status overview” and “compliance gap analysis”. Furthermore, the multi-annual compliance monitoring plan needs to be further specified and explicitly motivated.

The SIRA is an important part of the CCF; your vision, mission and strategic goals bring certain integrity risks to your company. To mitigate risk these integrity risks a SIRA is vital: the SIRA helps you to manage and align the integrity risks with the general principles of your companies risk management framework. A company is vulnerable to integrity risks when it is (or could be) is involved in acts that are against the law and / or are regarded as improper in society as a whole. With Philip Sidney’s help your SIRA will be up to date and more than “just a formality”, it will become a lively document with regard to the institution’s integrity risks and will build trust to your shareholders, correspondent relations and other stakeholders.

What is allowed and what is not allowed? Policies, procedures and minimum standards set out how your company manages and mitigates compliance risks which originate out of your strategic business decisions: ‘to do or not to do’. These documents should be brief, clear elaborate and build upon the choices made by the (senior) management with regard to the risk mitigation. In this prospective: unclear board and / or senior management decisions slow down and eventually frustrate your business. That is why policies, procedures and minimum standards build upon the SIRA.

Philip Sidney can help you support your efforts to implement clear policies, procedures and minimum standards. Taking into account the market standard, market practice, latest (and coming) rules & regulations. With our help you will have clear documents outlining what ultimately is expected from everybody which leads to certainty and consistency which ultimately contributes to the trust in the company.

Trust in your compliance function should be embedded in your company. This is not the case when your organization sees the compliance function as a “showstopper”. In our prospective the compliance function (second line) should work together with your business department(s) (first line) and should support your (e.g.) trade finance-, international payments-, correspondent (banking) relation-, lending-, wholesale- and banking activities.

Philip Sidney can help your company and compliance function in establishing a concis but firm compliance operations which contributes to your company. We start with understanding the nature of your business (e.g. your client’s background and nature) in combination with the origin of the compliance measures. Based on the applicable market standard and rules & regulations we will advise you on the necessary compliance set-up to help you excel your business.

A proper Customer Due Diligence (CDD) set-up is of utmost importance for credit-, financial institutions and trust companies, even more when “high risk countries” are involved. The Transaction Due Diligence (TDD) provides you the same service as the CDD and includes an in-depth analyses of the transaction. Philip Sidney provides these services on a structural basis to provide more comfort with. This service assist you in countering the increasing business and reputational risks and you stay on top of your clients’ risks.

To counter financial economic crime risks Transaction Monitoring (TM) provides additional trust in your company. Laws and regulations form the basis of scoping of your Compliance Control Framework. Based on the framework you can assess the compliance workflow together with your companies’ IT department. Based on this collaboration you create an action plan which includes your business-, information-, and technical requirements. With this structure in place you can start approaching suppliers for demo’s and offers. Once installed, your system will an effective mechanism for countering risks that may be hiding in your client portfolio.

Besides assisting you in selecting the best TM provider we can also set-up the screening scenario’s in your TM software. With these scenario’s you can automatically block or allow transactions. This will reduce the work of your compliance department and will result in a faster way to service your clients’ transaction(s).

Is the trust in your compliance organization and set-up valid? Can you trust that you are in control of the integrity risks which arise in your (daily) business activities? Philip Sidney can help you and your company to stay in control and help you (re)build trust in your compliance set-up and organization. To assist you we offer services which picture your obligations, measure the effectiveness of the of the mitigating measures or measure the maturity of your compliance organization. The scope usually also includes your first line (your business departments) which are confronted with compliance obligations on a daily basis.

As a managing board you have to sign your in control statement yearly. Usually the question arises: can I trust and rely on the assurance that I am in control? To help you assess the maturity of your compliance organization we can offer you our C-Ray. The C-ray provides you with a concise report focusing on priorities and with a picture of the maturity level of your compliance organization company wide. The report is prepared from the Board-members’ point of view and gives an opinion on the maturity level of the compliance organization. We usually provide this service to (Supervisory) Board members, shareholders and can also be used for reporting to the competent authorities.

When you institution already has a compliance framework you want to know if you can trust your the set-up of the framework. With our test of design we assesses if your compliance framework contains everything it should contain. Based on your SIRA we analyze your policies, minimum standards and manuals (e.g. on-boarding, ongoing CDD, transaction monitoring) to see if the set-up covers your integrity risks based on (e.g.) the the legal- and market standard.

Your institution has a compliance framework and set-up. Now the question arises if you can trust the effectiveness of the framework and set-up. Basically, you want to know if the first line really adapted the mitigating measures to cover your integrity risks. With our ToE we investigate roles and responsibilities: are they according to your internal compliance standard and more important: is it trustworthy and effective?

When the ownership of a company or portfolio changes there is a need for trust and assurance. Are all the necessary compliance obligations fore filled and / or is there an effective compliance framework in place? After all, you would like to have assurance that which establishes trust: what is bought is free of objections by (e.g.) regulators and / or the compliance framework is in place and effective. Additional remedial efforts to (e.g.) strengthen the compliance framework or update the client portfolio decreases potential profit and takes a lot of effort of the merger and / or acquisition.

With Philip Sidney his help you can assess the integrity risks of your merger or acquisition before your enter into a deal. With our help you are safeguarded against potential integrity risks which have the potential to impact the estimated profit of the merger or acquisition. With our help you can trust on detecting integrity risks in an early stage so you will pay the appropriate price.

Financial and Economic Crime (FEC) risks (e.g. money laundering, terrorist financing, bribery and market abuse) can severely impact the trust in the company but also limit the business its movement. We at Philip Sidney believe a pragmatic approach combined with the current trends should result in an effective and trustworthy management of these risks. We are well aware of the FEC risks and are working together with known experts to help companies mitigate this risk in a pragmatic and sufficient manner.

A good example of such a risk is the tax integrity risk. Please see our Whitepaper about the risks here

We have additional services, which also cover topics mentioned under the tabs ‘compliance charter & framework’ and “compliance maturity” and are overarching

When immediate relief is needed, to safeguard the company his risk and reputation, remediation services be necessary as a quick solution. With our remediation service you can earn back the trust of your stakeholders, employees, shareholders and competent authorities in a short time period. The services we deliver are broad and cover all kind of integrity and financial crime related issues. These services can render from a client file review to help set-up a compliance framework.

Please contact one of our partners or consultants for more specific information.

The market practices, rules, regulations and market standards are constantly changing. It is hard to keep track of these changes: especially for people in the first line. They know that compliance rules are important and applicable but may have other priorities. To trust on your first line and to keep up to date with the development of integrity- and / or financial economic crime risks training and workshops are an important part of (half)yearly and / or quarterly cycles to create awareness and update employees for these integrity- and financial economic crime risks. At Philip Sidney we offer specific trainings and workshops to keep up to date with important changes and help your employees to be up to date.

Financial sector


As stricter sanctions are imposed by both United States and European Union particularly on high risk countries, Philip Sidney’s experienced team understands how complex international trade regulations can affect your organization. We make sure that while regulations are observed, business opportunities are not missed. Our services are based on a vast experience through previous international assignments, varying from designing effective internal compliance programs to product classifications and licensing procedures with both national (European) and U.S. authorities.

With a multidisciplinary view of the complex export controls for civil, dual-use (including non-proliferation) and military commodities, we bring solutions to the complex demands of UN, European Union (EU) and country specific sanctions legislation and export controls. You can contact us for all questions regarding international export controls and sanctions regulations, as well as export licensing questions concerning EU or national export licenses, or those from the U.S. such as BIS, DDTC, or OFAC.

Before, and while entering into a business contract, customer due diligence is crucial to internationally operating companies. Engaging with sanctioned parties can lead to eye-watering penalties, however the ultimate beneficial owners of a third party are not always apparent. Philip Sidney offers third party due diligence reports that will help you decide which transactions do, and which do not fit your risk appetite. We offer screening and advice on an individual basis, or embedded in a Service Level Agreement. We can also train you to conduct your own third party due diligence, please refer to export compliance training.

Transactions involving high-risk destinations or high-risk items, may often require a business transaction advice, which is a comprehensive due diligence reporting based on the nature of the product and the parties involved in the transaction. Dependent on the nature of the transaction, we will also engage our international network for verifiable background information. As a result, you will receive a solid reporting with a clear advice: go, or no-go.

As awareness concerning trade compliance grows, more and more companies are looking for the best way to stay “in control”. Additionally, regulators and financial services providers are demanding exporters to maintain the internal compliance program (“ICP”), proving that effective measures and compliance processes are in place.

Philip Sidney offers tailor-made ICP’s, while protecting its clients against shortfalls in compliance risk management (‘under-compliance’) as well as watching out for excessive measures (‘over-compliance’). We have the authority to credibly advise on the right balance and as such, we make sure compliance is well secured at economic terms.

Whether you are in need of a pre-audit assessment, an assessment following from a (suspected) violation of international compliance or sanctions regulations, or looking for an independent review on whether your compliance policies and procedures meet EU and/or U.S. requirements, Philip Sidney offers:

  • Test of Design
    We will compare the policies and procedures you have in place with those required by various regulations. We will identify the gaps, and report to you not only what is missing, but also where needed, how to complete or perfect your controls.
  • Test of Effectiveness
    Having policies and procedures documented, unfortunately does not always mean they are also implemented and embedded in your company’s work structure. With a personal approach we will review work instructions and procedures of the relevant departments within your company, interview the people involved, and test whether your compliance program has been implemented effectively.

The efficiency of your compliance program is measured by its maturity. The more mature, the more effective. You will not win a gold medal, but certainly make your mark with the regulator! And that will help you to drive and thrive your business. How mature is your compliance organization? Philip Sidney has developed a tool for the board to know at a glance.

We take an inside look at your organization, a Compliance Ray, if you will. We zoom in, zoom out, and make connections with the board’s view on the compliance structure of the business. This unique test of maturity will give the board the opportunity to quickly identify and address those issues obstructing the organization to maintain effective compliance control.

As an exporter, being in control starts with knowing what you have. At Philip Sidney, we have extensive experience with export control classification of products, software, services and technology following national, E.U. and U.S. dual-use and military regulations. Whether there are a million parts to be classified or only a few, together we find a practical and economic approach to get in control.

We believe in empowering our clients to maintain their own continuously improving compliance program. We know the rules of the international business world inside out, and are keen to share this insight with you. Training is possible on all levels – from general awareness training at board level to specific policy related training for solving day-to-day compliance issues. Whether you are looking for a one-time awareness seminar, a structured yearly training course, or help in developing e-learnings for your company, we are by your side.


The mounting regulatory pressures inform us that oil and gas companies need a robust, well-managed regulatory risk and compliance program that is supported by all levels of the organization. Our regulatory risk and compliance management solutions provide guidance on the following:

The increased enforcement of anti-bribery laws worldwide in 2017 provides a huge incentive for you take steps to ensure all business units, regardless of where you are located, are complying with anti-bribery laws.

With the proliferation of anti-bribery and corruption laws and enforcement worldwide, getting compliance right across a range of jurisdictions has become considerably more significant than ever.

In major jurisdictions, companies may be able to obtain mitigation from fines or even have a full defense to bribery offenses if they were able to demonstrate that they had a robust and effective compliance program at the time of misconduct

We assist companies in implementing the ABAC programme in line with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the UK Bribery Act 2010 (UKBA), OECD, ICC etc. This is pertinent as approach to anti-bribery has developed around the requirements of these laws and their respective guidance documents. We help you with the implementation of ABAC programme tailored to your risk profile as well as the particular circumstances of your company including background, size, operational structure and countries of operation.

Along with a robust compliance programme, you may also be in need of practical guidance for recognizing and responding appropriately to corrupt activities and practices.

We offer training sessions tailored to your company specificities and to the background of participants. It is our objective to assist you in building a company culture that helps your staffs and protects your reputation.

Compliance with international sanctions and export control regulations is a significant issue in view of the continuous demand for oil, gas and petrochemical products and also the impact of non-compliance on international stability and security. Therefore we help you comply with the export control and sanction regulations that apply to your company.

We design and implement a cost-effective export control and sanctions compliance programme within your compliance framework. This will minimize the compliance risks in relation to export controls. In the unfortunate event that you violated the export control laws, your prudence will result in substantially lower fines when compared to companies that fail to take adequate compliance measures.

Classification of goods, technologies, software and services is crucial when new products are introduced into your trade environment. It is vital to know if your products are classified as dual-use goods – products that may have both commercial and military or proliferation applications and if they may fall under EU, U.S. export control or other regulations. Therefore classification is used to determine the applicable level of control whenever your item is exported or re-exported and is an integral part of the process in determining whether an export license is needed.

In reviewing your compliance programs and procedures, you must also ensure your compliance procedures are properly structured to identify and address any risk that your exported goods might be diverted to unauthorized end users, end uses or destinations. In relation to that, we offer transaction advisory services aiming at compliance with applicable export control and sanction regimes. This involves investigating transactions, transactions structures and screening of third parties against legally binding lists of sanctioned parties among others.


Our services



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