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The financial services industry in Asia Pacific is facing an increased regulatory burden across the region, as regulators enhance legislation and step up enforcement, particularly targeting individuals.

The latest guide to Financial Services Regulation in Asia Pacific, published today by Herbert Smith Freehills, demonstrates that regional regulators are adding to the workload already imposed by US, UK and European regulators.

The guide's authors point to Asia-Pacific regimes increasingly holding individual senior managers to account as a rapidly developing trend.

"Financial institutions have faced a huge increase in their regulatory workload since 2007, largely at an institutional level and led by Western regulators," said Will Hallatt, Financial Services Regulation partner at Herbert Smith Freehills in Hong Kong.

"Asia Pacific's regulators are adopting the same approach, with new legislation and an ever increasing number of enforcement actions. Most notably these regulators are increasingly looking to make individuals accountable."

"While many recognise the need for further regulation, practically the number of compliance personnel now required in Asia Pacific is exhausting the supply of properly skilled staff in the market."

"The focus on individual sanctions by multiple regulators in this region increases the challenge facing firms in recruiting and retaining the right type of personnel at such a crucial time."

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Sally Greig

Sally Greig, Head of Communications, Asia

Hong Kong