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Rules are a part of life — and business. But too much of anything is never a good thing, at least to some. According to a recent report by Thomson Reuters’ governance, risk and compliance (GRC) unit, companies around the world were faced with more than 14,000 regulatory announcements in 2011, which equals approximately 60 announcements per working day.

The number of 2011 announcements represents a 16% increase from the roughly 12,000 issued in 2010 and has grown continuously since 2008, when regulators issued close to 9,000 rules and changes. The report cautions that the pace of activity is likely to remain for some time as compliance professionals prepare to deal with a wave of rule making associated with new reforms, especially regarding Dodd-Frank. The majority of activity (57%) came from the United States, while the UK and Europe made up 22%, and Asia accounted for 15%.

“This growth in activity also has an effect on the level of compliance spending, which is bound to rise, leaving less to lend, invest and do the other core activities which will be necessary to revive the global economy,” said Scott McCleskey, global head of financial services regulation for Thompson Reuters’ GRC unit.

Regulatory reforms may be necessary, but they have not come without a price.
Emily Holbrook is the founder of Red Label Writing, LLC, a writing, editing and content strategy firm catering to insurance and risk management businesses and publications, and a former editor of Risk Management.