The best things any mortal hath are those which every mortal shares.
—T. Arthur Leonard (1864–1948)
What makes outcome so difficult to identify and to pin down is the lack of an endgame. What is the overall purpose of compliance? What is the point? All that has gone before hopefully underlines the unlikelihood of a specific end result. There is not going to be a finite point when all regulation and compliance has achieved all that it set out to do, but there might be a path that can be identified that takes compliance forward on a reasonably sound footing for the foreseeable future, able to deal with most things that could be thrown at it and, crucially, in control of its own destiny.
The sustainable path or place of equilibrium is an industry in balance with its community, an industry that is providing more or less the services and products expected and needed by the community, enabling it to achieve its objectives, to prosper, and to provide sustainable wealth and wellbeing to all its members fairly. This equilibrium also involves being resilient to external shocks, adaptable to change, and alive to new opportunities. It is also smart and efficient in the way the community operates and financial services are delivered within it. This, of course, is an ideal and will vary from community to community and from time to time; but if we can become better at defining what a community needs and desires, then the overall outcome of financial services is better adjusted ...