From the TUC

New Government survey shows only the finance sector thinks regulation is the biggest business burden

29 Jun 2012, by in Economics

Today BIS published their new ‘business perceptions survey‘ proudly proclaiming that:

The burden of regulation is beginning to lift, according to an independently produced report. Fewer firms cite regulation as an obstacle this year, compared with recent years.

This is correct, but is to somewhat understate the main finding of the report, which is that regulation is far from the main concern of most businesses. While only 14% cite regulation as the main barrier they face, 45% say that attracting and retaining customers is their biggest challenge (up from 41% in 2010) and 16% cite access to finance (again up by 4 points since the last survey).

Interestingly, there is one exception, as the report notes on page 15 (emphasis my own):

Attracting and retaining customers was perceived to be the greatest challenge across all business sizes and in all sectors apart from Finance, where complying with regulation was considered to be the greatest challenge (54% stated this).

Given the recent news agenda I doubt many will see this as a great surprise.