AM to PM at TM: Emily Bacchus
By Emily Bacchus, Compliance ManagerJul 12th 2022
To give everyone better insight into how we work at TotallyMoney, we’re taking a look at different teams in the company. We’ll ask questions to those who actually work in each department, to gain more of an understanding about who they are and what they do.
Today we’re speaking to compliance manager, Emily Bacchus, about how the team protects customers and works with the entire business to ensure all activity is compliant.
Hi Emily! To get us started, how did you come to find yourself at TotallyMoney?
I was attracted to the job at TotallyMoney in particular because of the mission — to help everyone move their finances forward — and the clear focus and prioritisation of customers. I also really liked the idea of taking the control out of the hands of the big banks and lenders, and giving that control of data to customers instead.
I'd been working in my previous role at another fintech for almost seven years. While I'd learnt and developed a lot, as it wasn't FCA regulated, I wanted to work somewhere where I could make an even greater difference to customers, which regulated companies can do more easily.
What was it about working in a company where you could make a difference that attracted you?
I like being able to be so customer-focused. It’s really great to feel at the end of the day that you may have helped a vulnerable customer, or been able to work with the product team to create an exciting new initiative for over four million customers.
Product work is a big part of the day-to-day at TotallyMoney.
What do you like about working on the app?
I love working on something the customers actually use and interact with every day. I think it comes back to being customer-focused, both across the whole company and in compliance.
As a compliance team we’re really keen to go out to different teams — marketing, tech, product, commercial — and be part of conversations. But we also want to have others come to us and say “how can compliance help us do this, or improve this for our customers?”. We’re really proud of how the whole company takes the customer-first approach to heart — it means a lot to see so much focus on how we can give our customers financial momentum.
Can you tell us a bit about the day-to-day jobs in compliance?
It’s very varied, since there’s so much going on! Most days I'll review work from teams and squads from around the business, be it new adverts for TV or social media, emails and new app features.
I'll also meet with people from across the business to discuss new initiatives or to take them through compliance updates.
As we’re a regulated company, it’s really important to stay up to date on guidance. This can come directly from the FCA, through studies by leading researchers, and by attending webinars. We also do horizon scanning, to stay on top of what’s going on in the financial services industry.
You mentioned vulnerable customers. Why is this such a big focus at TotallyMoney?
At TotallyMoney we have a focus on providing support for the 20m UK adults currently under-served by the financial services industry, which includes the most vulnerable of customers. As such, we place special emphasis on safeguarding those with low financial or emotional resilience, health conditions or going through major life events.
These are the customers who need empowerment and encouragement, since they’re at risk of harm, getting into debt spirals or being unable to cover costs. So we’re always looking for ways to not only protect them from harmful high-interest loans or bad credit card deals, but help them to create some momentum to move forwards.
What’s one bit of advice you’d recommend to other fintechs trying to up their compliance game?
Make sure the entire company knows who you are and what you do. Challenge employees and the company at large to really focus on what they want to achieve with compliance. Try to encourage different teams to bring you in on new projects as early as possible, so compliance isn’t brought in at the end and needs to make lots of changes to an exciting new feature. It’s that sort of thing which causes others to have a negative view of compliance.
And for the compliance teams — make sure you truly understand what the business does and what its objectives are. That way you can provide tailored advice that benefits all.
Above all — work with the company, not for the company.