TAS study shows compliance costs increasing

31-May-2017

By Megan Tran

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Financial services technology provider TAS yesterday launched its inaugural Compliance Index, which revealed the majority of organisations were increasing their spending on compliance, with many calling for regulations to be loosened.

The results, which were shared at an industry roundtable in Sydney, showed 76 per cent of financial services companies were increasing spending on compliance year-on-year, with over half adopting cloud-based measures.

Survey participants also expressed their desire for a reduction in regulatory policies and greater collaboration with regulatory technology firms (regtechs).

Moderated by Australian Accounting Standards Board chief executive Kris Peach, themes touched on during the roundtable centred on the need for a change in attitude, identifying where the risks were and the role compliance played in relation to monitoring those risks.

TAS chief executive Shane Baker said in a world of more onerous compliance requirements, companies were looking for innovative ways to future-proof in the digital age.

“In response to these disruptive market forces, financial services are turning their attention to building cyber-resilience, however, many companies continue to be held back by challenges such as lack of resources and funding, time constraints and talent shortages,” Baker noted.

He said the nature of compliance was changing, with modifications and efficiencies needing to fit in with a variety of organisational departments, such as human resources and finance.

Efficient implementation of new compliance procedures was another issue to be addressed, he said.

He identified the current situation as an opportunity for the industry to gain new insights into risk and compliance issues, promote further collaboration between industry bodies and determine what was on the horizon.

Variations made to technology today needed to be flexible to accommodate future changes, he added.

Grant Thornton head of financial services Madeleine Mattera said standards rose yearly for risk and compliance, and industry cooperation with new players was imperative.

“As technology costs fall and capability increases, there is a unique opportunity to help established institutions innovate by partnering with fintechs and regtechs. Data and technology will be increasingly used to supervise regulated institutions and will shed light on regulation complexities,” Mattera said.

Survey participant Complii Fintech Solutions managing director Alison Sarich said marrying technology with company resources could have a strong impact.
“The sheer size and scale of changing market obligations have made it difficult for organisations to keep up. At a time of growing volatility and speed, the improved use of available technology can ensure internal capabilities, services and offerings remain highly efficient.”

TAS initiated the Compliance Index in response to the shifting regulatory environment in Australia and the challenges facing financial organisations.

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