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.

The survey polled 350 CFOs and other finance and compliance leaders.

The survey revealed that 30% 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, such as the use of derivatives, securitization and hybrid investments," 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 lose sight of other broader business issues and fall behind other world financial centers."

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