In light of recent financial crises and excessive risk-taking that led to the collapse of global markets, governments can be expected to draw up new regulations for banks and finance companies in 2012. ICS Risk Advisors released a report this week highlighting key areas where economic growth may be stalled. On the one hand, analysts cited the housing sector and the volatility of mortgage trends as curtailing growth over the next few years. Further increases in unemployment and foreclosures may make matters even worse, underscoring the importance of background checks and credit reports
. On the other hand, there's the U.S. presidential election, the results of which are sure to influence regulatory and economic policy. Either way, banks need to work harder in meeting compliance standards. "In 2011, Banks were focused on dealing with asset quality issues, and competing in a difficult market to make good loans," said John White, CEO of ICS Risk Advisors. "Stricter underwriting standards and deflated collateral values added to the challenge, and despite extraordinarily low interest rates, Banks struggled to improve margins."