Digital case study

Managing risk and building a replicable compliance culture for a global automaker

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Renault wanted to establish a legal and compliance model to meet new criminal liability requirements in Spain, and strengthen it with a digital management platform

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From compliance complexity to competitive opportunity. How PwC Legal Managed Services helped reinvent Renault’s compliance model and to stay ahead of fast-changing regulations. 

For global automakers, transparency and consistency in each country they operate in are essential to maintain a strong reputation for the highest standards of legal and regulatory compliance. Proactive measures and formally documented processes play a big part in ensuring this, but as legal and regulatory requirements vary by jurisdiction and are continuously evolving, it can be hard to stay on track.

For this reason, Groupe Renault (Renault) engaged PwC’s Global Risk and Compliance team in 2018 to provide external support to its compliance committee for Renault Legal Services and Global Risk Services in Spain. The driver for change was more stringent measures in Spanish law, where liability has been extended to companies for criminal offences committed by their directors for their own benefit, or by any member of their staff as a result of the company not having exercised due control. Establishing well-documented measures and controls that prevent and detect criminal offences can help to mitigate or reduce the company’s liability.

Flexible resources across disciplines

PwC fields a multi-disciplinary team to support Renault across four different entities, Renault Espana Comercial S.A., Renault Espana S.A., SODICAM and Renault Retail Group. The managed service team works with the company’s compliance committee in Spain to manage all of the documents, update its risk map, and advise on the committee’s annual action plan. Across these entities, hundreds of controls and  potential compliance risks have been identified for monetization or tested. The plan includes controls testing, which must be performed every two years to demonstrate the effectiveness of the mitigation measures in practice.

When Renault’s French operations appointed a new combined Legal General Counsel and Compliance Officer for Spanish affiliates, PwC’s remit broadened as part of a strategic plan to align anti-trust and ethical/code-of-conduct compliance with criminal risk mitigation. The intention was to draw on the advanced, more formalised provisions and risk model that had been developed in Spain as replicable best practice across national borders. Key members of PwC’s Spanish Legal and Risk & Compliance teams are multi-lingual and fluent in French, and were able to take on the extended requirements.

Workflow, traceability and a wealth of new data

Most recently, PwC’s managed service team has been to help with the digitisation of Renault’s legal and compliance activities, from contract management to all aspects of compliance that had previously been managed manually.

Rather than documenting activities as one-off reports, the digital system is a living, active record of all action plans and policies, and their evolution, also detailing staff training, as well as communication and validations that have taken place.

The toolset the company has implemented, based on legal operations management software, enforces a strong workflow and provides complete traceability. It spans all of Renault’s risk management activities - specific to the company and its industry sector, and to the requirements of both French and Spanish authorities and Renault’s respective national company policies. This gives Renault personnel all the evidence that essential compliance measures have been implemented at their fingertips.

The provisions are also adaptable, to reflect any changes to policies, whether at Renault’s headquarters in France, or in Spain. For instance, PwC’s team advised and adapted the Spanish operation’s provisions in the light of a new EU directive on whistleblowing.

Clear benefits of a culture of conscious compliance

The benefits to Renault of the managed service are felt most tangibly in repeatable best practices and performance visibility.

“Our regular testing of the effectiveness of Renault’s risk controls has confirmed the level and impact of improvements to the compliance culture, as well as individuals’ awareness of what’s required of them,” says Patricia Manca Diaz, a partner with PwC Spain, working in the Global Tax & Legal Services team.

Digitalising more processes has also contributed to a growing pool of rich data around key performance indicators (KPIs).

Renault’s General Counsel & Compliance Officer has welcomed the managed service team’s proactivity in proposing further improvements, such as communications on the latest developments that are relevant at local and Europe jurisdiction level, which will allow his team to plan and stay ahead.

All of this elevates the perception of the service provided by Renault Legal and Global Risk Services to the company as a whole, so much so that the exemplary practice in Spain is now being adopted as best practice in France.

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Patricia Manca Diaz

Tax & Legal Services, Partner, PwC Spain


Jamie Houghton

EMEA Managed Services Leader, PwC United Kingdom


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