Still, the result raised eyebrows at Wolters Kluwer: “I’d say that this year surprised us a little bit that it came out top,” Burniston said. “When you look at what folks were most concerned about over the next 12 months, it doesn’t really matter what size organization it was or what type of organization it was. The ability to manage regulatory change was identified as the most pressing compliant challenge,” he said of the 328 respondents.

Read more: OCC wants your thoughts on Community Reinvestment Act implementation

“We have so many things on the horizon right now that have been in play for the last couple of years that the industry is expecting to see soon,” Burniston said. “For banks, imminent revamping of the Community Reinvest Act  is one of those emerging stress inducers,” Burniston said. “It would affect banks of all sizes, in terms of a new evaluation method, new things to learn, new data to collect, a new examination process, looking at new ways to work with their communities and other partners.”

Burniston noted the CRA revamp has been long in the making: “The regulators have been working on this for quite some time,” he said. “We had a period when the OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] had moved out on its own. That, of course, would just affect national banks. But now we’re waiting on the final word from all three bank regulators.”

Another area raising compliance concern is work being done by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Burniston added: “The other thing is there are regulations the CFPB has to issue that will require organizations to collect and send to the government a lot of information about small business lending == including loans made to minority- and women-owned businesses,” he said. “Those are expected to be pretty comprehensive rules. The CFBP has to have those out by the end of March.”