Despite uncertainty, banks prepare for new regulation

Despite uncertainty, banks prepare for new regulation

US and UK banks are already making changes to their capital markets operations to help meet new regulations, even though these rules are still clouded in uncertainty, according to research commissioned by Capco.

The survey - carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit - of 60 senior executives in the areas of trading, risk, regulation, and operations, show a broad variance in the preparations from the different groups as they move to deal with regulatory reform - Dodd-Frank and MiFID II - arising from the 2008 economic crisis.

Nearly three quarters of trading executives reported that they are already at the implementation stage. This contrasts with the regulatory function, with only 20% stating that they are at the implementation stage, although 60% have completed an impact assessment. The operations function leads in "identifying the regulatory changes that impact the business," with 46% stating that they have done so.

Many respondents claim to see regulatory change as an opportunity rather than a problem. Nearly a third of UK respondents strongly agree that the new framework provides an opportunity to gain market share, although there is less optimism among US institutions - just 20% Within the financial institutions, traders were the most hopeful, with 82% agreeing there is potential to gain market share.

Meanwhile, respondents identify transactional data as the area where they need more detailed information, with 54% identifying this area, followed closely by collateral at 53%.

Nearly three quarters of institutions have a strategy in place in order to identify where changes to data need to be made, or have already decided the systems which will need modification. Three of the four business functions surveyed are well advanced in terms of preparation, led by operations, with again the regulatory function lagging.

The respondents are undecided about whether new regulations will require relocation or outsourcing of any functions, or the need for a shared utility. In 13 of the 17 areas of operation, the majority of respondents do not know what the impact of regulation would be on organisational structure.

Overall, despite the optimism, many do not have an overarching view of the impact of global regulations on the enterprise and are worried that change is happening in a fragmented and siloed manner.

Stephen O'Sullivan, partner, Capco, says: "Institutions in both the US and the UK are expecting clarifications from regulators, but even with the ambiguity over the final rules, firms are wisely moving ahead to prepare. However, the report does reveal that implementation is happening piecemeal through task forces working at a national level, and therefore not at the necessary global, enterprise-wide level."

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