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Thomson Reuters Report On Regulatory Reform Heralds An ‘Uncertain Era Of Dismantling’

Regulated firms should make full use of regulatory technology – regtech – to prepare for rule overhauls in the UK, US and beyond

Facing uncertain times, financial firms preparing for significant regulatory reforms this year are focusing on regulatory technology to help them respond quickly to the opportunities offered by change, according to Thomson Reuters annual report on the State of Regulatory Reform.

The potential dismantling of existing rulebooks in the UK and US is a risk but also an opportunity, the report finds. Although Brexit and changes to the US Dodd-Frank Act may still be some years away, firms are preparing now to ensure their compliance functions are ready for all changes. A regulatory transformation is taking place at the same time as the financial industry races to develop and adopt new technological approaches to compliance.

“A new age of financial regulation dawns in 2017,” said Alexander Robson, managing editor, Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence in London. “Donald Trump’s presidency and the UK’s planned divorce from the European Union are taking shape as the main drivers of an uncertain era of ‘dismantling’, even as the structure built since the financial crisis remains incomplete. The transformation of the government role is taking place, furthermore, as the financial industry races to develop and adapt new technological approaches to compliance.

“Compliance officers face change, change and more change, overlaid with the challenge of an increasingly wide range of sanctions being used by regulators to drive home the need for physically effective compliance and the resulting good customer outcomes. The uncertainty presents opportunities. Firms can seek to influence their futures rather than simply watching as rulebooks change.”

Other regulatory reforms identified by the report include the increasing focus on personal liability, as regulations require named individuals in financial firms to assume responsibility for specific business functions. The report looks at each of the world’s financial regions in turn, summarizing the key regulatory changes underway and offering predictions on the regulatory events that will shape the year.