Chapter 1An Overview of Compliance in Financial Services

“Money plays the largest part in determining the course of history.”

—Karl Marx

It is a chicken-and-egg story: “Regulation influences banks' behavior by shaping the competitive environment and setting the parameters within which banks are able to pursue their economic objectives.”1 Interestingly, however, banking crises have been the trigger for many, nay most of the regulations, more so in recent times. So it is difficult to say whether it is the regulations that are shaping the behavior of banks or banks breaching the expected fair business practices that is shaping the structure and content of regulations. Or it is the interplay of both that has created the complex structure and behavior of the banking industry and by extension the financial services and its regulations?

It is not an exaggeration to say financial services is perhaps the most regulated industry in recent years. There are more regulations, more expectation of compliance, and more supervision to ensure compliance. There is unprecedented scrutiny of the industry at national, regional, and global levels. This scrutiny and the host of far-reaching regulations together are of topical interest not only for the stakeholders but also to policy makers, politicians, and media, thus putting the spotlight on adherence or lack thereof to the set expectations.

“Financial services” is a broad umbrella term that covers different subsectors like banking, insurance, securities, ...

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