The two biggest issues that the financial services industry will face in the next few years are the cost, burden and risk associated with regulatory compliance as well as increasing competition among firms, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of 350 CFOs and other finance and compliance leaders.

Thirty percent of those polled stated that regulatory compliance was the biggest issue that their organization is currently dealing with.

"The financial services industry has grown increasingly complex as a result of new, more sophisticated products and finance transactions," said Timothy F. Ryan, chairman of the U.S. financial services industry practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Many of these transactions have multiple layers that become extremely difficult to account for and report on a balance sheet given the rapidly changing regulatory environment and current rules-based accounting models. It is imperative that the financial services industry find a way to manage through, if not simplify, complex reporting so that we do not fall behind other world financial centers."

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