The majority – 89 per cent – of compliance executives at financial services institutions said they expect to increase their compliance investments over the next two years. The survey, Accenture's fifth annual compliance risk report, polled 150 executives and found that the top spending priority for compliance officers in the next year is technology transformation, cited by 24 per cent of respondents. Almost half the respondents will invest in new surveillance tools.
The report shows how financial services organisations plan to counter risks and disruption from cyber fraud, cryptocurrency, quantum computing and open banking. Accenture's Steve Culp said: “Time has run out for compliance departments that want to take a more watchful, cautious stance toward innovation. Industry shocks are becoming more commonplace in this increasingly volatile risk environment, and the creation of annual plans driven by once-a-year risk assessments is no longer an effective compliance roadmap.”
Investment in skills
Training employees will also be a priority to ensure compliance risks are mitigated, as three-quarters of respondents acknowledged their organisation has a skills gap, with further training needed to apply insights through data and analytics and to drive technology innovation. Three out of 10 respondents said that data quality would be a barrier to transforming the compliance function over the next three years. Accenture’s Samantha Regan added: “If compliance professionals don’t understand the ecosystem of risks they face or fail to obtain strategic insights from the data gathered, they can expect limited returns on their investments.”
The survey found that cyber risk was the most challenging compliance risk for financial organisations, followed by data/information risk and fraud/financial crime – as shown in Accenture's graph below.
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