Amy Ferguson
Sales Support Manager

Banks and credit unions have compliance rules that must be followed. That’s non-negotiable. But they also need to position their products and polices to generate revenue and be profitable. So, the question is, how can they gain the competitive edge without being exposed to too much risk?

Compliance is a given.
The beauty of a highly regulated industry is the even playing field. Every financial institution (FI) is subject to the same rules and levels of scrutiny, regardless of size or footprint. But, that even playing field begs the question, what makes my bank stand apart? One way to differentiate is through how an FI chooses to support compliance.

What are the options?
There are really two ways to support compliance: through attorney-prepared documents or through a compliance document provider. Both methods are effective for maintaining compliance in lending and deposit transactions. But attorney-prepared documents are going to give you more flexibility in terms of the words on the documents, right? Not necessarily.

With the right document provider, a bank or credit union can have the same level of flexibility in the language used on documents without having to take on all the risk. The key is to find a document provider that builds compliant document packages with the security of warranty coverage and compliance guardrails while also allowing for maximum flexibility.

How can something like compliance be flexible?
When it comes to compliance, there will always be content that needs to be captured for a transaction to adhere to regulatory requirements, but that doesn’t mean that an FI should feel limited in how they can disclose their products and policies. The right document preparation solution can empower an institution to be clear and concise by only including content that is relevant to the transaction at hand.

Automated compliance logic and document package assembly prevents the inclusion of unnecessary and potentially confusing documents and language from being presented to customers. Not only does this help remove human error, but it also streamlines the process and reduces abandonment rates.

What about calculated risks?
For many banks and credit unions, particularly those in the commercial space, there are times that the recommended compliance language used by an out of the box doc prep solution doesn’t quite hit the mark. They need the flexibility to get creative and customize some of the terms and conditions for a particular deal. It’s crucial that, if an FI elects to use a doc preparation solution rather than attorney-prepared documents, they account for some f calculated risk-taking and ensure that their solution allows for flexibility without completely abandoning warranty coverage.

Customer experience is key.
When an institution considers options for documents, they must weigh what content is delivered and how that content is delivered. For example, retrofitting static PDFs into modern account opening front end software can create a clunky, disconnected experience for customers. In contrast, using HTML content for disclosures has proven to be the best experience for hundreds of banks and credit unions.

Finding a document provider that can fit seamlessly into account opening and loan origination workflows is key to keeping customers engaged.

Leave the legalese behind.
In addition to delivering documents in a way that resonates with today’s customers, banks and credit unions need to consider the complexity of the language included on their documents. Straightforward terms and conditions with reduced legal terms help customers better understand what they’re signing up for when they open an account or take out a loan. It’s easy to think that legal jargon is more enforceable from a compliance standpoint, but simpler terminology can reduce confusion and misinterpretation down the line.

Finding the right balance.
Leveraging solutions that eliminate superfluous documents and confusing legal jargon can allow financial institutions to deliver fantastic consumer experiences and creatively position their products and services while still meeting compliance requirements. At the end of the day, finding a solution that provides both flexibility and effective compliance guardrails can help drive profitability and bring peace of mind.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of TruStage. TruStage ™ is the marketing name for TruStage Financial Group, Inc. its subsidiaries and affiliates. Corporate headquarters are located in Madison, Wis. © TruStage


Amy Ferguson

Sales Support Manager

Amy Ferguson is sales support manager at TruStage Compliance Solutions.  Ms. Ferguson is responsible for managing the day to day activities that support TruStage’s sales team, including solution demonstrations, product assistance and marketing activities. 


Prior to moving to the revenue team, Ms. Ferguson developed and managed educational assets to support both internal and external training efforts.