Despite a persistently stringent regulatory environment, banks are becoming more confident in their compliance and risk management programs, according to the Regulatory and Risk Management study by Wolters Kluwer released last week. Overall, levels of concern among the more-than 800 respondents collectively declined for the first time in the survey’s four-year history. A majority of bankers -- 59 percent -- said that their compliance department now plays a collaborative role in major business decisions within their organization, and 39 percent are using an integrated or strategic risk management program.
While confidence is growing, bankers still noted several key obstacles to implementing an effective compliance program, including inadequate staffing (33 percent), manual processes (26 percent) and too many priorities (21 percent). Preparing for the new Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rules was also a central point of concern, with bankers most worried about being able to accurately capture the data required by the rule and training bank employees. On the risk management side, 70 percent of respondents fingered cybersecurity as the top risk their institution will face over the next year, up from 66 percent in the 2015 survey. Read more.