Survey: Bankers’ Compliance Concerns Ease in 2018

In a year that saw passage of a major regulatory reform law, U.S. financial institutions’ anxiety levels over compliance obligations eased significantly, according to a survey released this morning by Wolters Kluwer. This year’s regulatory and risk management indicator score was 85, down 18 percent from 2017, the company said. While worry was down, however, 62 percent said they “do not anticipate a likely reduction” in their regulatory burden.

Reduced anxiety over compliance drove the decrease in the overall indicator score, Wolters Kluwer said; concerns about risk management dropped significantly less. Those reporting “high” concern levels about complying with changing regulations, keeping track of changing rules and demonstrating compliance fell by at least 10 points from 2013, although figures for all remained over 60 percent. Meanwhile, 61 percent of bankers said they had high concern about their organizations’ ability to manage risk across all lines of business, much closer to the 64 percent who reported the same in 2013.

Cybersecurity remained at the top of the list of concerns, with more than eight in 10 rating it as a subject of focus, followed by IT risk and credit risk. The share of bankers calling compliance risk a major focus fell from 50 percent in 2018 to 33 percent in 2018. Other challenges flagged by respondents included implementing the Current Expected Credit Loss model for loan loss accounting and navigating fair lending compliance.