Are you sitting comfortably? Are you ready to be served another regulatory delight?
In the spotlight this week, we’ve brought some tax regulation to the forefront. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or as it’s more commonly known, FATCA, requires foreign financial institutions (FFIs) to gather sensitive data, including balances, receipts and withdrawals, on US account holders and identify accounts for the purpose of reporting to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). As is commonplace with regulatory changes of all flavours, data requirements go far beyond the current mandatory tax requirements on financial institutions.
However it’s not just more data that binds together the plethora of new regulations facing the financial markets, but also the increasing focus on the quality of data held and analysed by financial institutions. Indeed, as regulators strive for transparency, quality data is the fundamental ingredient to ensuring that new regulations, from FATCA to Form PF, effectively measure and manage what they propose to.
At Asset Control the importance of quality data – what we call Triple A rated data (that has no chance of being downgraded) – has never been underestimated.
Although investment is required to achieve Triple A rated data, the cost of not having it is even bigger; for example, under FATCA, a withholding tax of 30% will be applied to payments made to FFIs if they fail to report or inaccurately classify clients, and that’s without even mentioning the reputational damage that can far outweigh any fines or other financial penalties.
So, if your systems are feeling the stress with FATCA compliance then the indigestion will only persist when it comes to stomaching the full menu of regulatory initiatives being served to the global financial markets. Firms must ensure they have the key compliance ingredient in stock if they are to confidently manage the onslaught of regulatory changes they face in 2012 and beyond.