Regulation adaptation still a worry for NA and APAC executives

July 25, 2017

Regulation is still leaving execs quaking in their boots, according to a new survey of the financial services industry by AxiomSL.

The risk and regulation firm asked 132 senior-level executives in North America and Asia-Pacific to rank the biggest challenges they’re facing in the sector. 66% North American execs reported that adapting to upcoming regulatory changes was their biggest task. Improving data aggregation (55%) and allocating resources (38%), were the other two major worries.

Respondents from APAC highlighted the same three concerns, yet were more worried by resource allocation (66%). 57% agreed with their North American peers about the challenge of adaptation.

“While executives in North American and APAC differed on the ranking, they all agree that one of the biggest challenges is adapting quickly to upcoming regulatory changes,” said Alexander Tsigutkin, CEO of AxiomSL.

“To this end, firms need to ensure they have an agile technology platform that seamlessly interfaces across business functions to optimize business automation processes and controls while delivering workflow transparency and data lineage.”

APAC execs are also a more apprehensive bunch, compared to those in North America. More than two-thirds of respondents in the region said they were more worried this year than last year. Only 13% reported that they are more confident in 2017.

In North America, less than a third (28%) of respondents said they are more concerned, 33% said they are less concerned, and 13% said there has been no change.

“It’s difficult to predict with complete accuracy which new regulations will take effect, and when,” said Peter Tierney, CEO of AxiomSL’s APAC region.

“What is clear is that firms need to be more forward-looking and strategic, not only preparing for regulatory changes on the immediate horizon, but also investing in technology that can be leveraged and optimized to operate in a range of different regulatory climates.”

Just under half of respondents in both regions indicated their belief that investing in technology would be the way forward. 48% of those in North America are looking at implementing new solutions, while 44% in APAC said the same.

Executives from both regions cited data management (66% in North America; 61% in APAC) and reporting (63% in North America; 67% in APAC) as their most important focus areas.

“Executives in both regions understand the critical role technology plays in addressing the increasingly complex regulations, as well as the increased volume and granularity of data demanded from internal and external stakeholders.” Tsigutkin added.

“Firms need to adopt a strategic posture and be able to reuse and leverage data and processes to transition their business into future success.”

Originally featured in IBS Intelligence