Compliance professionals feel exposed to risk and lack confidence in their team’s resources to protect the business

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Compliance is becoming so complex that today’s compliance professionals are concerned about how the function will protect businesses in future. This is according to new research from The Risk Advisory Group, which surveyed more than 200 compliance professionals across a range of global businesses.

The survey reveals that the majority (83%) of compliance professionals feel that compliance has become more complex in the past two years, with larger businesses feeling this more acutely. As a result, 69% are feeling more exposed to risk than they did two years ago and only 19% - even less in larger businesses – feel very confident in their team’s ability to protect the business to the level required.

Worryingly, compliance has become so elaborate that 78% of compliance professionals say that it now represents a risk in itself. Increased regulation is cited as the top challenge facing compliance departments over the next 12 months. This is followed by geopolitical events, in particular the EU referendum.

Compliance professionals are under increased pressure to safeguard their company’s reputation, with 59% agreeing to this and 51% citing fear of negative exposure as the top driver for compliance in their organisation.

Employing people with the right knowledge would make the biggest difference to compliance teams’ ability to protect the business over the next year, say 37% of compliance professionals, yet only 32% believe that new talent coming into the industry has what it takes to succeed. In addition, 16% also say that more efficient processes would improve their ability to protect the business.

Bill Waite, chief executive at The Risk Advisory Group says: “Our research shows that compliance professionals have an increasingly difficult job to do. There is a huge amount of change and a huge amount of legislation, and the need to keep up with it and understand its impact on business is putting compliance professionals under immense strain across all sectors.”