London, February 01, 2012 -- Companies around the world struggled to keep abreast of 14,215 regulatory announcements in 2011 -- approximately 60 announcements per working day. What's more, the level of announcements looks set to rise again in 2012 as companies prepare for more rule making, including the bulk of Dodd-Frank, says Thomson Reuters Governance, Risk and Compliance (accelus.thomsonreuters.com).
Regulators around the world announced 14,215 changes in 2011, a 16 percent increase from the 12,179 announcements in 2010. The volume of announcements, which can include anything from a speech which may signal the direction of a new regulation to a final binding rule, has grown continuously since 2008 when regulators issued 8,704 changes.
In addition, the report cautions that the pace of activity in 2011 is likely to continue in 2012 as compliance professionals look set to deal with a wave of new rule making associated with regulatory reforms, in particular the Dodd-Frank Act. The report's authors estimate that up to 80 percent of Dodd-Frank rule making is yet to be completed, and that when final rules do begin to come out firms will, in many cases, be forced to scramble to implement several major new rules simultaneously.
"Our analysis illustrates the magnitude of the challenge facing businesses globally and the need for them to keep abreast of what is going on in each and every market in which they operate," said Scott McCleskey, global head of financial services regulation, Thomson Reuters GRC. "This growth in activity also has an effect on the level of compliance spending, which is bound to rise, leaving less to lend, invest, and do the other core activities which will be necessary to revive the global economy."
The report shows that the majority of regulatory activity, 57 percent, came from the U.S., while the U.K. and Europe made up 22 percent and Asia accounted for 15 percent. Separately, while the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) were the most active regulators in 2011, the major regulators in the U.S., U.K., Australia and Hong Kong accounted for just 20 percent of overall activity last year. According to McCleskey, companies focusing solely on the major regulators run the risk of missing important changes from other sources.
The report, State of Regulatory Reform 2012, provides an essential summary for compliance professionals of key regulatory developments, including Dodd-Frank and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the U.S., U.K. Bribery Act and key developments in the Middle East and Asia. It identifies global "hot spots" and key regulatory reforms that will be taking effect in 2012 and beyond.
A copy of the report can be downloaded at: http://accelus.thomsonreuters.com/content/special-report-state-regulatory-reform.
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