Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Regulatory Reform Triggers Concerns Among U.S. and U.K. Financial Industry Executives, According to Protiviti Survey

Respondents express doubts about reform’s effectiveness and long-term impact, but also acknowledge some benefits

Kuwait, December 14, 2010 – Financial services industry executives on both sides of the Atlantic agree that new regulatory reform measures designed to increase long-term stability won’t forestall future risks, according to a new survey from Protiviti (www.protiviti.com), a global business consulting and internal audit firm. Ninety-seven percent of respondents say new measures won’t prevent another financial crisis, though nearly half believe they will moderate the effects of one. Most respondents also reported that actions of the regulators will be more important than changes in laws in determining how financial services companies operate.

The Protiviti Financial Services Regulatory Reform Survey (www.protiviti.com/regulatoryreformsurvey) examines the impact of regulatory reform on financial services organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom through insights from more than 100 industry leaders, including chief executive officers, chief financial officers, chief operating officers, heads of compliance and other executives.

The Protiviti survey reveals numerous areas of concern within the U.S. and U.K. financial services industries. For example, 39 percent of all respondents said regulatory reform will have a negative impact on their organizations’ recovery from the global financial crisis. The response was higher among U.S. respondents, with 54 percent anticipating a negative impact, compared to 28 percent of U.K. respondents. Just 9 percent of all survey participants believe regulatory reform will have a positive effect on recovery efforts, while 52 percent reported there will be no effects.

“The survey results are relevant in UAE and the rest of the GCC, where regulators embrace international best practice standards, aiming to create more proactive regulatory regimes” said Andrew North, Managing Director of Protiviti’s Middle East Member Firm. “Organisations that are proactive in considering how regulatory changes could affect their business will be better positioned to adapt to the new environment and gain a competitive advantage.”

Other topics addressed in Protiviti’s study include international coordination of regulatory reform; the effect of regulatory reform on company culture; and shifting of business operations to jurisdictions with more inviting regulatory regimes.

Protiviti conducted its Financial Services Regulatory Reform study in September 2010. Financial services industry executives and management-level professionals from the United Kingdom and the United States were invited to complete an online questionnaire designed to assess the effects and long-term impact of regulatory reform initiatives in their home countries and globally. More than two-thirds of respondents represent organizations with annual revenues in excess of US$1 billion. This is the first in a series of surveys Protiviti plans to conduct that will focus on various financial reform issues.

A complimentary copy of the survey is available at: www.protiviti.com/regulatoryreformsurvey.

About Protiviti
Protiviti is a global business consulting and internal audit firm composed of experts specializing in risk, advisory and transaction services. The firm helps solve problems in finance and transactions, operations, technology, litigation, governance, risk, and compliance. Protiviti's highly trained, results-oriented professionals provide a unique perspective on a wide range of critical business issues for clients in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.

Protiviti serves clients in the Middle East region through its Member Firm.  Protiviti Member Firms are regional risk consulting providers who jointly provide services with Protiviti. This combination of global and local expertise delivers to companies the highest level of service and solutions for identifying, measuring and managing the risks that challenge their business objectives.

Protiviti has 60 locations worldwide and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI). Founded in 1948, Robert Half International is a member of the S&P 500 index.

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