I feel like the Queen. Although she has been in the public eye for 85 years, she has never bowed to fashion: you will look in vain for a photo of her in an indecently mini dress in the 1960s, flares in the 1970s, leg-warmers in the 1980s or leggings in the 1990s. No, Her Maj knows what suits her and she sticks with it: structured dresses with matching coats and accessorised Naval officer. To explain my analogy (stick with me, do), I have often myself been tempted to follow compliance trends. Indeed, people frequently advise me to broaden my horizons: don’t stick with money laundering, they caution – what if it’s made legal and then you’ll be out of work. (Least of my worries, etc.) Offer training on fraud prevention in general, on insider trading, on the whole of compliance, they counsel – and now, on FATCA.
I will confess that I have so little interest in FATCA that every time I think of it I have to Wiki it to remind myself what it means – the (wait a mo – I’ll cut and paste) Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. I am not unaware of its significance, in both political and compliance terms (boo hiss on both counts), and I feel – as I so often do – for the MLROs on whose desks this new responsibility may well land with a thud. But am I bovvered about talking about it? I am not. It’s only use, as far as I can see, is that when people accuse the AML regime of being a tax grab, I can direct them to FATCA instead.
Ironically, the Queen is now declared to be a fashion icon, a setter of style. Here’s hoping that a review of my career – with its dogged adherence to one subject – will be as flattering.