There will be more government rules to contend with over the next two years, but compliance officers don't expect their resources to keep pace, according to a recent survey.
Compliance International, a Pine Brook, N.J.-based software company surveyed 120 bank and securities firm compliance officers. Almost all -- 98% -- predicted that the volume of regulations will increase.
But many respondents said their budgets and staffing won't keep up with the changes. While 54% said they expect their resources to increase somewhat, only 7% expect a significant increase. And 39% reported their budgets will remain the same.
Bigger training budgets will allow just one-fifth of the compliance officer respondents to handle regulatory changes.
In the past two years, senior management's attention to compliance has increased, 72% of the respondents said.
Reasons for the change included the regulatory climate and increased litigation awareness, the survey said.
High-profile lawsuits involving senior managers in the past year probably added to the scrutiny, Compliance International said.
Right now, 37% of the respondents said they are the only professional working on compliance at their company.
Another 27% have two people, and 14% have a three-person staff.
Regardless, 76% of the respondents believe compliance information is communicated effectively within their business.
Looking ahead, 56% of the compliance officers said they thought their ability to do their job will be the same in two years.
One-third said they'd be able to do a better job. Only 10% of the respondents said they expected their performance to be worse.
Automation and computer upgrades will be the key to improvement, said 44% of respondents, who predicted they'd do a better job.
Eighty-five percent of all the officers said they work with a personal computer on a regular basis.
Banks have different schedules for updating compliance procedures, the survey found.
While 48% update their inhouse manual on a semiannual basis, 15% make changes monthly.
Surprisingly, regulators got good marks with the respondents.
Almost two-thirds said regulators do a good job of keeping bankers up-to-date on compliance issues, and another 10% said regulators do an excellent job.
But 63% of the compliance officers said regardless of regulators' help, the rules themselves are excessive.
The Cost of Compliance
Annual spending on compliance materials and services. Results of a survey of compliance officersMore than $50,000 7%$11,000 - $50,000 10%$5,000 - $10,000 25%$3,000 - $4,000 24%$2,000 12%$1,000 16%Less than $1,000 6%
Source: Compliance Intemational