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2014: A Year of Significant Movement and Transformation for Financial Services Firms

Wolters Kluwer Financial Services’ experts across EMEA analyse this year and look forward to the 2014 upcoming year’s regulatory risk and reporting challenges and opportunities

With further clarity around regulators’ expectations regarding Basel III, Solvency II, IFRS, FATCA, AIFMD and others over the last twelve months, all signs point in the direction of firms increasingly gearing up to make 2014 a year of firms turning regulatory theory into practical implementation, according to Wolters Kluwer Financial Services experts.

Regulatory, technological and market developments including changes to CRD IV, legal entity identifier (LEI) advancements, and restructured regulatory architectures have altered the financial landscape in EMEA and globally over the last twelve months, paving the way for an eventful 2014.

A number of Wolters Kluwer Financial Services’ experts have provided insight on these issues, among others, taking a retrospective look back and anticipate what is on the horizon for financial institutions:

Selwyn Blair-Ford, Head of Global Regulatory Policy, “Basel III and its implementation will continue to be the strongest influence on developments as firms and regulators learn how to navigate the new framework as well as manage the transition. 2014 may also see regulatory efforts to constrain those activities on the periphery banking (e.g. hedge funds and private equity). I would also expect there to be further consideration given to how regulatory reporting be made more risk sensitive and simpler.”

Nancy Masschelein, Market Manager, Risk, Finance, IFRS – EMEA, “Regulations will remain a big driver for firms in the upcoming years, such as IFRS 9 which will replace the rules governing the accounting of financial instruments and IFRS 4 the accounting rules for insurance contracts which will both further boost alignment between the risk and finance functions. Also the regulatory landscape will continue to change next year - for example as the ECB is preparing to take on new banking supervision tasks as part of Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) which will further increase the regulatory pressure.”

Richard Bennett, Market Manager Regulatory Reporting - EMEA, “Adoption of all three pillars of Solvency II is relatively slow thus far, and this is understandable. Timescales from the regulator and internal budget restrictions have meant that some firms have been holding back. But at the end of this year we have seen a change in the marketplace which will continue into 2014. We are seeing firms getting more and more involved with respect to pillar three reporting. It is also essential that firms understand that holistically, pillar three is more than just a set of reports - there is an intense data flow needed for a full reporting system.”

Mary Stevens, Manager - Regulatory Analysis Europe, “There has been an immense amount of regulatory activity this year especially as a result of the change in regulatory architecture, which came in to force in April 2013. As the name suggests the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is focusing its efforts on conduct and treatment of customers. As a result client money and asset protection has once again figured highly on the regulator’s agenda as has the implementation of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR).”

“The past year has been an interesting time in the financial services space. It has also been a significant milestone year for us in the EMEA region and across the business as a whole as it evolves to continue to meet the needs of this very dynamic market. With a record 130+ signed contracts in EMEA this year, strategic acquisitions in the U.K. and Austria and successful industry awards and analyst rankings, 2013 has been a year where we continue to take steps and show results to further meet customer needs,” said Clive Pedder managing director EMEA at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services. “Additionally, a full rebrand of our FRSGlobal and FinArch businesses into our parent brand Wolters Kluwer Financial Services in January means we have a strong foundation in place, and are in prime position to move forward into 2014 in continuing to meet our customers’ needs.”