Across almost every sector, businesses are feeling the growing impact of regulation. In the financial services sector, for example, the light touch regulation of the pre-crisis era has been replaced with a new attitude to capital buffers and remuneration packages. In the energy sector, technology innovation and climate change mean new regulations are coming thick and fast. And in the life sciences, pharmaceutical companies need regulator approval to see returns on the billions they invest in developing new products.
Yet across all of these sectors, there is a significant variation in the way businesses respond to the regulator’s attentions. While it is almost impossible to find a company that does not say it is committed to being compliant, very different attitudes lie behind this public front.
At FSC, our experience tells us that adopting a positive and proactive approach to regulation, and managing regulation as part of overall strategy, delivers the best results.
For companies that want to realise the financial advantages of effective regulatory management, we recommend action on three fronts:
The degree to which these strategies affect performance varies from sector to sector, but across all the sectors we looked at – financial services, life sciences and energy – the picture was consistent. Adopting a strategic, rigorous and positive approach to regulatory management is associated with superior financial performance.