Survey

Firms lack resource to manage regulatory risk

A PwC poll of major UK asset management firms reveals that a third are unsure they have sufficient internal resource to manage their firm’s regulatory risk.

The poll found that despite the majority (80 per cent) of heads of compliance working at least 11-12 hours a day, a quarter of firms feel they are not effectively managing their regulatory risk. This is despite nearly every firm ranking this risk in the top five that they face.
 
This under-supply of compliance professionals is mirrored in the external market, meaning unless action is taken the asset management industry could be left facing a compliance skill shortage which will continue for at least the next two to three years.
 
The research, which forms part of an extended compliance function survey, polled heads of compliance in UK asset management firms to give an indication of the underlying sentiment of their internal compliance function.
 
Amanda Rowland, partner and head of asset management regulation, PwC, says: “Asset managers simply do not have enough sufficiently experienced staff to cope with the increased regulatory burden. This is leaving many firms concerned that they are not effectively managing risk despite senior compliance staff working longer and longer hours.  
 
“The regulatory landscape is changing and will continue to do so at pace and for some time - it is becoming more and more demanding on asset management firms. The compliance function is the ‘gate-keeper’ in controlling regulatory risk and firms need to ensure they do not over-stretch their existing compliance team. They need to think more about stripping back their compliance operations to just the core, essential roles and streamlining activities so that they have the capacity to cope with the work which correctly falls within their compliance remit.
 
“There is still a long way to go until we reach a perfect world here –firms should look at their internal compliance business model, determine what their core compliance activities are, and focus their resources on these areas. For the remainder of activities they should consider alternative solutions including outsourcing or ring-fencing in another part of the business.”

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