Retail banking compliance survey: a reality check

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Some 82% of compliance directors surveyed said compliance demands will be higher in the next three years, according to a new report from research and advisory firm Aite Group.

The report is based on a survey of heads of retail banking compliance at 17 banks, including 16 of the top 150 banks ranked by assets and one community bank. It shows that compliance demands are rising and that, for most institutions, there is significant pressure on resources, with many now counting on technology to help them do more with less.

Compliance managers are thinking through resource allocations to ensure that the most important issues are addressed first. But meeting current regulatory standards is an exercise in near-constant course correction because state and federal laws are in a perpetual state of flux. Committing the right amount of technology to do the job without literally and figuratively breaking the bank proves difficult.

"Creating an effective compliance programme is a highly customised process - every bank needs to think through its unique blend of products, processes, customers, geographies and technology to determine where the major risks are, and how they should be addressed," says Eva Weber, analyst at Aite Group and author of this report. "But it is clear from this survey that firms are almost universally struggling with resource constraints and rising workloads."

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