With "soaring regulatory costs" at the top of many advisors' list of potential headaches, it's surprising that the compliance industry sees spending staying right where it is.
In fact, 75% of all compliance officers say their 2011 budget will be exactly where it was last year, according to a survey that National Regulatory Services ran in the first quarter.
And those compliance officers apparently haven't gotten a raise in three years.
Part of that's because compliance remains just one of many hats these people wear. Only 25% of the chief compliance officers out there spend 90% or more of their time dealing with the regulations.
The average compliance budget -- people, technology, and materials -- was in the $50,000 to $75,000 range last year, and so will probably remain in that area in 2011.
All of this is shocking, given the amount of fear we've seen about new regulations and the number of times we're told that Dodd-Frank is killing the business.
When confronted with the apparently contrarian numbers, John Gebauer of NRS simply said the compliance officers surveyed are wrong.
"Despite the survey results, the reality is more regulations will be coming down the line," he told Financial Planning. "Most compliance staffs have already been trimmed and they can’t absorb the extra work. I think companies will be forced to spend more in the near future.”