Bulk Of Compliance Costs Go To Staffing, Compensation

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The bulk of the $25.5 billion spent on compliance by the securities industry during 2005 went to staffing costs, according to a survey by the Securities Industry Association.

Increased staffing and regular inquiries from regulators caused the industry's compliance costs to nearly double 2002's expenditures of $13 billion, the survey found.

Much of the cost resulted from companies increasing both compliance staffs and their compensation, which was pressured upward ''both due to the immediate need for experienced compliance personnel who were in short supply and the elevation of the importance of the compliance function within the firm,'' the report said.

The survey of 56 firms was conducted during the fall of 2005.