The Rising Costs of Compliance

Jared Wade


April 1, 2011

Everyday, there seems to be a new litany of regulations for companies to follow. To this end, 86% of global compliance professionals believe that the focus on managing regulatory risk will increase in 2011, according to Thomson Reuters' "Cost of Compliance Survey 2011." "Even a couple of years after the height of the [financial] crisis, the depth and breadth of regulatory change -- a major driver of regulatory risk -- is still in full swing," states the report. "Much of the regulatory change is due to come into effect in 2012, leaving 2011 as the year of consultations and the need to fine tune the planned changes." Unsurprisingly, 71% of global compliance professionals believe that their companies will need to increase the amount of time and resources required to comply with regulatory requirements. Right now, the compliance teams at 18% of companies already spend at least one full day of each week "amending policies and procedures to reflect the latest regulatory rules." Any substantial increase is sure to further strain their ability to fulfill other responsibilities. Of course, the flipside to all this is that costs of noncompliance -- in terms of punitive fines, the ability to operate without onerous oversight and missing out on the benefits gained by the spirit of conforming with the rules -- may be even greater.

Jared Wade is a freelance writer and a former editor of Risk Management.