With recent and ongoing changes in market structure, added pressure from global and regional regulation and the multiplication of data sources, there is a greater need for automated trade surveillance. As a result; companies are spending an increasing amount – in both budget and resources – on compliance, according to the 2018 Nasdaq Global Compliance Survey.
Surveillance technology is the most popular budget allocation area, the survey found, with 61% of the respondents citing it as an area in which they recently invested. Almost two-thirds of respondents said surveillance technology in one area where they expect to spend their compliance budget in the next 12 to 24 months, as overall compliance spending is anticipated to increase again in 2019.
In addition to spending and budgetary trends, the 2018 Nasdaq Compliance survey gathered intelligence on the most pressing developments that a compliance officer encounters. This year’s survey includes 135 responses across more than 101 firms throughout the financial services sector in 26 countries.
In the 2018 Global Compliance Survey, Nasdaq found that the focus on compliance has grown once again, often playing a pivotal role in a firm's strategy. Beyond budgets and spending, Nasdaq sought insight on topics, including organizational structure, challenges, automation and technology and policies and regulation.
Notably, companies are operating with a sense of urgency surrounding regulation, as half of the respondents said they recently invested in fortifying knowledge and expertise of regulation.
MiFID II has been a key driver of compliance over the last few years not only among European firms but also among non-European firms that need to comply due to their European operations.
Firms have historically prioritized regulatory education; however, there continues to be a shift toward regulatory technology. The report concluded that this change is attributable to the stable regulatory climate over the past couple of years, which has allowed firms to become more comfortable with the requirements and spend more time on implementation.
While companies are spending more to be adequately equipped to deal with regulatory changes and implementations, only 15% of firms feel fully prepared, respondents said, while most firms report that they are somewhat prepared. This can potentially leave firms exposed to both regulatory and reputational risk. The onus is on compliance teams to lead proactive efforts to ensure their firms are compliant both now and into the future.
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