In the decade following the global financial crisis, banks have faced a flood of new laws and regulations. The pace of change has been furious. Banks have been forced to hire more and more bodies to manage large, enterprise-wide efforts in an attempt to simply stay ahead of regulatory enforcement actions and the ensuing fines and penalties.
The decade following the financial crisis unleashed a torrent of regulatory requirements. Financial institutions have spent billions on technology and operations to achieve regulatory compliance; the frequency of new requirements is high. Despite all of this, regulators have not been satisfied with the quality of the data and level of transparency. How can banks and regulators strike a balance between the costs and the benefits of regulation?
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) regulates banks operating in the country to ensure a safe and efficient domestic financial system, but a high percentage of bank assets that fall under its domain are foreign owned, leading to the challenge of compliance with the bank’s home regulations and New Zealand’s, as its host. However, foreign-owned banks can and do thrive in New Zealand’s soundly maintained financial sector.
Ten years ago, the 2008 financial crisis not only made headlines – it also signaled a fundamental shift in how the global banking system operates. Several regulations were put into effect to increase transparency and protect global markets
All over the world, regulations have been implemented to protect economies, especially following the major recession 10 years ago. But unfortunately they have not always been executed in concert, leading to costly regulatory fragmentation. Banks have been particularly hard hit by the costs of compliance to misaligned regulation, with resources being drained away from more productive areas. But there are ways to mend these divergences, starting with cooperation between regulators.
The global financial crisis of 2007-08 left many marks behind, not the least of which has been increasingly complex financial regulation that has not been easy to uniformly enforce; meanwhile, digital technology is looming ever larger but has been relatively ignored by regulators, who are still coping with the decade-old crisis. The international regulatory debate should move towards a more forward-looking approach.
Getting regulatory compliance right is a necessity for financial institutions today, because getting it wrong is a punishingly expensive mistake. Just as fintech has been rapidly embraced by the industry due to its many proven benefits, the new kid on the technology block, regtech, is set to blaze its own innovation trail, disrupting the old ways of doing things in a bid to cut costs.
In the US, strict and costly regulations in the aftermath of the financial crisis were applied with a broad brush, to large financial institutions capable of creating systemic catastrophe and to community banks with risks tied only to the communities they faithfully serve. Now is the time to strengthen the best of the financial system, its community banks.
The financial sector is ruthlessly competitive, and failing to fully meet regulations can mean the difference between success and failure in any given year of business. Banks have learnt from past errors and are changing how they are structured to solve operational and technical challenges whilst enhancing value.
Banks and other financial institutions entered 2017 facing an increasingly daunting framework of anti-money-laundering (AML) laws and regulations. During the past several years, regulatory agencies have been aggressively stepping up their enforcement actions, and they’ve levied huge fines for compliance failures.