Regulation is the most important factor influencing strategic change at financial institutions and is the second largest threat - after economic uncertainty - to growth prospects, according to PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey . The survey, which is in its fifteenth consecutive year, canvassed CEOs at over 250 financial institutions in 42 countries late last year and provides a good barometer on market sentiment. The significance of regulation as a change driver in the financial sector has grown steadily since the recent crisis. Based on PwC’s face-to-face interviews with CEOs of some of the world’s largest financial institutions, it is clear, though, that it is not simply regulatory change, but regulatory complexity and uncertainty that are really dampening confidence in growth.
Upgrading the European Union (EU) prudential regime for banks in line with the Basel III proposals is an excellent example of both regulatory complexity and uncertainty. In July 2011, the European Commission  released two proposals to introduce the new regime. The bulk of the existing EU prudential regime, with the amendments necessary to introduce Basel III, is recast into a regulation – the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) - amongst other things to support the parallel EU goal of harmonising and deepening the internal market through a single rule book. In addition, a Directive – Capital Requirements Directive IV (CRD IV) – sets out requirements in a limited number of areas where Member State discretion is still necessary, for example in relation to corporate governance.read more