Preparing systems to comply with regulations such as Basel 2, Sarbanes-Oxley and anti-money laundering measures has become the prime concern of many IT directors in financial firms.
Challenges for IT departments include collecting data from disparate systems in different countries, retrieving information quickly if requested to do so by regulators, and keeping an audit trail of millions of transactions.
Speaking at the City IT financial services technology forum on the cruiseship Aurora, Mark Turner, a partner at law firm Herbert Smith, said IT directors should consider how suppliers could help them in their compliance projects.
"You may want to be more aggressive with your suppliers in ensuring that what they are delivering can meet your current and future [regulatory] requirements," he said.
Contracts needed to state suppliers' responsibilities for failures that lead to an organisation being unable to comply with a regulation, said Turner.