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Banking Industry Foresees Increased Regulatory Burden

Matthew Blair • 5/14/2021
Working from the premise that the incoming Biden Administration could spur uncertainty regarding regulatory activities in banking, Cushman & Wakefield launched its inaugural Banking Pulse Check survey to seek the perspective of banking industry front-line regulatory and risk professionals.


Perhaps the most telling result from our survey is that 95% of respondents expect an increase in regulatory burden for their institution over the next 18 months.  Thirty percent expect the increase in regulatory burden to be large, while 65% predict it will be moderate. We believe these results track with general industry expectations as tougher regulatory enforcement was certainly present in the Obama Administration.    

When asking our respondents to rank order their priority regulatory issues from highest to lowest priority, the clear highest priority is AML / BSA.  Closely following were PPP / Stimulus programs, LIBOR Transition and Consumer Lending (HMDA, CFPB, Student Loans, etc.). The AML response appears to be in line with Requests for Information (RFIs) issued in April 2021 by federal agencies (OCC, FED, FDIC, FinCEN) seeking comments on regulatory approaches to AML / BSA and OFAC compliance. Results should be published later in the year.  

Our final question asked about planned regulatory staffing changes. More than 42% of respondents expect an increase in full time staff.  However, 33% of respondents do not expect staffing levels to change, and no respondents anticipated a reduction in regulatory staff.  An increase in staffing needs partnered with the challenges of returning to the office following the pandemic will be interesting to monitor throughout the year.  

Participation in the survey represented a spectrum of banking professionals, from Chief Risk Officers to Front Line Risk professionals.  The largest respondent groups were: 

  • Regulatory / Compliance Professionals -- 29%  
  • Commercial / Consumer Bankers -- 24% 
  • Operations / Internal Services – 9.5% 
  • Internal Auditors both accounting 9.5% 

We thank our respondents for their participation and look forward to future engagement from the banking industry as we send out our Cushman & Wakefield Quarterly Banking Pulse Check.  

Cushman & Wakefield’s Banking & Regulatory Solutions provide large teams of credit-trained professionals to assist major banks in remediating issues cited by regulators.  Our teams dive into bank files and bank systems to fix problems that otherwise may lead to regulatory fines. Learn more about how our depth of experience brings the most experienced and cost-effective remediation & due-diligence team in the market. 

Other firms analyze problems, our firm fixes them. 

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