We asked 400 senior executives at financial services firms around the world...

How much stress are you currently feeling due to regulatory change?

46% are highly stressed

and 40% are moderately stressed

And it won't get much better.
In two years' time...

Only 28% think they'll still be highly stressed

but 51% still expect to be moderately stressed

What do you fear most?

52% say reputational damage

39% say the loss of clients

28% say financial penalties levied by regulators

Are you ready?

52% say they are in a high state of overall readiness for what lies ahead over the next two years

Yet fewer than 1/2 agree that any specific regulatory-related element is in a high state of readiness...

  • 43% organizational structures and processes
  • 36% technology
  • 34% cultural change
  • 33% skills
  • 31% budgets
  • 28% external vendors
  • 26% staffing & internal resources

Who is feeling the stress?

The stress is being felt all the way to the top, with the most senior executives described as highly stressed

  • 50%

    Chief Executive Officers
  • 39%

    Chief Compliance Officers
  • 38%

    Chief Information/ Technology Officers
  • 34%

    Chief Risk Officers
  • 33%

    Chief Financial Officers
  • 29%

  • 29%

    General Counsels
  • 28%

    Chief Operating Officers

What's the effect of regulatory change?

It's changing firms' priorities by:

Distracting 50% of firms from core business activities
Limiting 28% of firms from investing in new growth
Prompting 25% of firms to move out of certain business areas

Overall, spend will rise...

62% will increase their compliance budgets with an average rise of 12%

10% of companies expect to be able to reduce compliance budgets over the next two years by an average of 9%

Even while they loosen the purse strings,
35% of respondants say the cost of adapting to change is their top challenge.

Over the past two years...

  • 60% have increased staffing in compliance and related areas
  • 43% have increased spend on consultancy or advisory services
  • 41% have invested in new technology
  • 40% have increased related budgets

And in the next two years...

  • 65% will spend more on technology
  • 63% expect to expand their leadership team
  • 57% will rely more on external specialists and advisors
  • 55% plan to increase staffing

What does the future of compliance look like?

Firms are building a culture of compliance and taking a more strategic approach to regulatory change...

  • 36% have created internal, cross-department taskforces
  • But 37% concede that delivering cultural change throughout the organization remains a major challenge
  • And 41% are struggling to move beyond a check-the-box approach to compliance

What’s your strategy?

Learn more about how the regulatory pressure cooker is affecting financial services firms.

Download the full report

The Regulatory Pressure Cooker: Assessing Regulatory Stress in the Financial Services Sector is a SunGard research report that was conducted in collaboration with Longitude Research. The results are based on a global survey of 400 senior financial services executives that was administered in late 2013.