Survey: Compliance Officers Assess Reg Burden, Benefits

Banks continue to grapple with regulatory burden and question whether the new rules protect consumers, according to ABA’s biannual Survey of Bank Chief Compliance Officers released this week. Of the 436 respondents, 90 percent off chief compliance officers believe that consumers do not read the disclosures or find them helpful in choosing and using financial products. Additionally, 77 percent believe that regulations produce unintended consequences that negatively impact consumers, and 63 percent agree that regulatory uncertainty and cost deter pro-consumer financial innovation.

With regulatory focus ramping up around risk management over the past few years, 79 percent said they are now performing enterprise-wide risk assessments, and of those, 86 percent are conducting them on an annual basis. A majority of compliance officers said that risk management plays a role in how they conduct various responsibilities including testing or monitoring activities, training activities, compliance audit programs, and the development or revision of policies and procedures. However, only 60 percent said that their regulatory examination included a review of their risk management practice with 39 percent saying they saw no discernable difference in examination activity.

A little over half of banks have one to five compliance full-time employees, and just over 30 percent said their number of FTEs has grown since the 2015 survey. Especially at smaller banks, compliance chiefs are also likely to serve as CRA officers, BSA officers and chief privacy officers.  For more information, contact ABA’s Rick Freer.


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