Blog: Bearmoor Notes

Thursday, August 19, 2010

With Additional Regulation Comes Increased Enforcement Actions

One of the results of the global financial crisis has been an increase in both new regulation as well as a closer look at existing regulation. The compliance and risk management functions of financial institutions are operating at full throttle in an effort to address the additional interest being shown by all regulatory agencies. While the efforts of these risk mitigation divisions within the financial institutions is to be commended, the volume of regulation and the interest of the regulatory agencies requires a greater effort to ensure that both the spirit and intent of the regulation is being complied with.

Based upon the number of public enforcement actions issued by federal regulators since the start of 2008; it appears as though additional attention is needed in the area of compliance and risk management. Nearly 1,200 banks have been hit with an enforcement action, and that number is expected to climb at an accelerated rate. Enforcement actions are on pace to increase 64% this year, making bankers increasingly wary of further obstacles to their recovery.

One of the many challenges in developing a strong risk mitigation program is finding qualified and experienced individuals. The current situation provides for a “free agency” environment among the compliance and risk management profession. Some organizations have the ability to attract and retain qualified individuals, while others struggle to maintain the necessary talent. The use of third party providers is no longer scene as a luxury, it is almost a necessity.

The “up and to the right” trend in enforcement actions is a trend you should make every effort to avoid. Enforcement actions can limit an institutions ability to succeed and achieve both quantitative and qualitative goals.

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