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Investment Banks ‘Overconfident’ on SFTR Compliance, Says New Research

New research from Luxoft, the technology services and consulting partner, has revealed that Tier one, Tier two and Tier three investment banks are overconfident for the EU’s new Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR), which comes into force next April. Almost all (99%) senior compliance professionals responsible for implementing the regulation are confident they will meet the requirements, yet Luxoft’s Regulatory Outlook Report shows that this confidence may be misplaced.

98% of Tier one, Tier two and Tier three investment banks will be relying on systems and process infrastructure used for past regulations such as EMIR to comply, yet the vast majority – 74% – acknowledge that SFTR compliance will require a much more complex IT infrastructure than EMIR or MIFID. Furthermore, almost three quarters (72%) agree that SFTR implementation will be more costly than EMIR or MIFID, with 30% saying the cost of hiring new talent will be the most expensive aspect. Despite these issues, fewer than half (48%) have conducted a cost benefit analysis of the regulations or set up a planning committee (46%), centralised their SFT reporting (39%) or hired a trade repository (TR) (26%).

Geoff Hutton, EMEA Regulatory Specialist at Luxoft comments:

“SFTR is the most demanding piece of transaction reporting regulation the sector has seen, and firms seem overconfident on delivering on the requirements when there is a vast amount of work to be done, with very little time to spare. Our research suggests that the industry’s confidence can be attributed to banks’ experiences with previous transaction reporting requirements and existing infrastructures. Some of the groundwork from these regulations will help firms to comply, however, SFTR presents a completely different set of challenges. Capturing the data required and putting in place the processes and technology to report efficiently will be a huge and costly challenge which firms are not prepared for.”

Senior compliance professionals in the investment banking sector remain largely positive on the role and impact of regulation, with only 40% reporting ‘regulatory fatigue’ at their firm. Furthermore, 78% of firms recognise that investment in compliance for regulatory initiatives such as SFTR makes their market position stronger and more resistant to new entrants and brings some business opportunities such as streamlining inhouse processes (62%), improving the use and risk management of collateral (58%) and boosting the transparency of funding (57%).

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