Speed, volume of regulatory change continue to challenge firms in Asia – poll

The pace and volume of regulatory change will be the single greatest challenges for compliance officers across the Asia-Pacific region in 2021, a snap industry poll found. Almost half (44%) of the participants in a live survey said that “continuing regulatory change” would be the single greatest challenge for compliance officers in 2021.

The finding comes as risk and compliance officers navigate a particularly difficult business landscape in the year ahead, with COVID-19 and financial uncertainty weighing on risk teams. The live poll took place on 11 March during a Regulatory Intelligence webinar on the “top 10 things that risk and compliance officers need to consider in 2021”.

The second and third greatest concerns for Asia-Pacific risk and compliance officers in 2021 are the impact of technology and the COVID-19 pandemic, which attracted 13% and 11% of the votes respectively.

The lack of skilled resources, budget constraints and lack of senior management support all polled less than 10% of the votes. Just 2% of respondents said potential enforcement action would be the top concern in 2021, while 1% of respondents said increasing personal liability was shaping up as the greatest challenge.

Budget constraints continue

The webinar found that budget constraints are a continuing challenge for risk and compliance teams, despite the higher profile of the risk sector in the wake of the pandemic. Only 11% of webinar participants said they would have more funds available in the coming year.

A total of 14% said their team would have a smaller budget in 2021, while 51% of respondents said their budget would remain stable over the coming 12 months. The remaining 22% of respondents said the budget outlook for their organisation’s risk and compliance team in 2021 was still “uncertain”.

Working across borders in an increasingly complex environment is an ongoing challenge for risk and compliance practitioners in the Asia-Pacific region. Around one third of participants (31%) said IT and cyber security regulation would be the biggest cross-border regulatory challenges in 2021.

Data privacy and financial crime regulation are expected to be the major challenges for 22% of industry respondents. Selling practices will be the top concern for 12% of risk and compliance practitioners, while licensing is the top concern for 10% of delegates.

The live poll involved more than 700 risk and compliance practitioners from across the Asia-Pacific region. Participants took part in the multilingual survey from more than 20 countries, including Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, China, New Zealand, India, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam, among others.

Click here to view webinar now

Nathan Lynch is an experienced writer, public speaker, manager and technology enthusiast in the field of financial regulation and risk management. At Thomson Reuters, Nathan leads a team of experts who provide breaking news, deep analysis and practical guidance to risk practitioners in the global financial services sector.
Nathan manages Thomson Reuters’ award-winning Regulatory Intelligence team across the Asia-Pacific region, tracking developments in financial services law, regulation, financial crime and risk management.
Nathan has been involved in building innovative, tech-based businesses in the financial services “regtech” sector — including Complinet Australia and the Thomson Reuters Risk business.

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