June 15, 2015 / 5:06 AM / in 2 years

Tech costs beat regulation, cyber as worries for financial services execs

LONDON (Reuters) - Rising costs for information technology infrastructure pose greater concerns for financial services firms than regulation or cyber attacks, a survey showed on Monday.

A photo illustration shows a USB device being plugged into a laptop computer in Berlin July 31, 2014. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

IT costs came second only to macroeconomic concerns such as the impact of quantitative easing, according to the survey by global risk adviser Willis of senior executives at 150 banks, insurers, reinsurers, asset managers, hedge funds and financial technology companies worldwide.

“There is a rise of new entrants that are using new technology,” said Mary O‘Connor, global head of Willis’ financial institutions group.

“Banks know they need to respond to that.”

Banks and insurers have been seen as slow in responding to new technology, leaving the door open for newcomers to steal market share.

Regulation was the third-highest worry, according to the survey, with the increasingly heavy rulebook prompting people to leave the sector or move to more lightly-regulated firms.

These could include financial technology firms, or even mobile phone companies that may not come under financial market regulation at all, O‘Connor said.

The fourth-highest concern was that widespread use of technology was creating new risks such as cyber crime.

Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Mark Potter

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