For a number of years, the market has been talking about creating a culture of compliance. Following the credit crisis in 2008, the urgency of being prepared was at the forefront of everyone’s mind, particularly among C-suite executives.
So it is surprising how many firms feel like they’re still struggling with getting past the check-the-box mentality. In SunGard’s new survey report on regulatory readiness, “The Regulatory Pressure Cooker,” 42 percent of respondents at capital markets firms
said they agree with this statement.
This is despite the fact that 54 percent of capital markets respondents say regulatory change is a regular topic of discussion at the board level, and 51 percent say that regulation is prompting a widespread change in their organization’s processes and culture.
So the question has to be asked – what is keeping them from creating that culture?
In another survey finding, the vast majority of capital markets respondents – 83 percent – say they are moderately or highly stressed by regulatory change. In addition, 69 percent believe they will suffer from similar levels of stress two years from now.
One reason for this may be the effort among regulatory bodies to promote their regulatory regime outside of their jurisdictions. That’s causing concern among firms that operate across borders because they have to consider the global impact. They can’t just
look at one specific market and focus on meeting regulatory requirements for that country. Tier-one firms need to look more holistically and broadly around the world to see what they’re doing across the business, with whom they are doing business and as a
result, which regulations are likely to affect them in the coming years.
In addition, global firms need to cater for the different flavors and versions of regulation across the markets they trade, and their compliance processes and tools must cater for these variances. Adding to the complexity of this landscape, each jurisdiction
will implement changes through different processes and timetables, putting additional pressures on staff and tools.
Sixty-two percent of capital markets respondents plan to increase their compliance budgets over the next two years, and those budgets will likely rise by an average of 12 percent.
Where is that budget going? Sixty-eight percent of capital markets firms will increase their spending on technology, while half plan to increase the number of related staff. In fact, the stock of a good compliance person has risen tremendously because the C-suite
is relying on them more and more. Further, 55 percent plan to increase their reliance on external specialists and advisors.
Clearly, despite the passage of time, capital markets firms remain uncertain of what lies ahead, how exactly to build a culture of compliance and how they will meet regulatory requirements no matter where they operate.
How Technology Can Help
Capital markets firms are going through a major transition. Many have grown, often through mergers and acquisitions, and now have large development teams and experts on staff. However, keeping pace with rapid regulatory change remains a big challenge. In addition,
while you can try to solve current problems that you know about, it’s very hard to cater for requirements that you’re not aware of.
Firms now have to manage the data and processes needed to address regulatory challenges and mitigate risk from all areas of the business, Additionally, as global regulatory bodies evolve their rules and enforcement practices, they need solutions that not only
support the current myriad global regulations, but also can be modified quickly to meet new regulations.
As firms evolve their compliance strategy to collaborate across the business, they are moving toward simplified workflows and automated solutions that are flexible enough to keep pace with changing regulatory demands and integrated to maintain a comprehensive
view of the business. It’s time for stressed capital markets firms to look for regulatory compliance experts in the industry who can help reduce risk and enable your firm to adapt to the future.