Michael Page Banking & Financial Services surveyed more than 1,800 compliance professionals and asked them how new anti-bribery and corruption legislation in the UK impacts upon their jobs and the sector.
We also asked respondents what challenges they believe compliance departments face in the future and got their views on light touch governance.
Respondents to our Compliance Insight and Trends Survey 2011 provide a timely overview of the feeling amongst professionals currently working in the sector.
Will the legislation work?
Almost two-thirds (63.6%) of respondents believe that measures introduced under the UK Bribery Act 2010 go far enough to deal with corruption in the sector.
The act provides courts and prosecutors with greater scope to deal with instances of bribery in the UK and abroad. Failure by a business or financial institution to deal with bribery can leave directors liable to imprisonment and companies open to unlimited fines.
Challenges and “light touch” governance
While the majority of compliance specialists believe the UK’s new laws do go far enough, more than half (54.5%) cite “too much regulation” as one of the main challenges currently facing compliance departments within UK-based banks.
Just over 45% cited “global influences” while “skills shortages” and “events of the past” also ranked high as challenges for compliance departments into the future.
A modest 38.7% said they thought the “light touch” approach to governance across the banking sector prior to the September 2008 crash had a direct impact on the collapse of the banking sector worldwide. In contrast some 61.3% of respondents said they believe “other factors” were mitigating and that it was “purely coincidental” that the downturn of 2008/09 occurred during a period of “light touch” governance.
Views on the future
Our survey also asked compliance professionals what steps UK based banks’ compliance departments might take to foresee future events. Here are some of our respondents’ anonymous answers:
“Enforce ownership and accountability within senior management to enhance compliance culture,” European head of compliance.
“They need to be more vigilant and ask more probing questions within their organisations,” compliance monitoring manager.
- “Understand your business, your clients, your products, the regulatory environment (both at home and abroad), forthcoming legislation and the risks that derive from all of the above. Take steps to mitigate the risks identified as much as possible,” compliance manager.
“Compliance departments just have to do their best in creating an ethical mind set and environment,” compliance manager.
Lindsay Reid, compliance specialist for Michael Page Banking & Financial Services commented: “Our survey of compliance professionals has solidified much of the thinking around the new legislation. Most are in favour of the UK Bribery Act 2010 legislation, but interestingly many thought other factors were mitigating in the events that erupted in September 2008. However, it is now clear that confidence is returning to the sector, and that is due partly to the legislation and an increased focus on the importance and the abilities of compliance departments.”
Michael Page Banking & Financial Services is one of the world’s leading recruiters of investment, banking and financial services professionals. We have offices in every key financial hub globally. We source the most sought after candidates from across the globe for clients seeking to hire only the very best talent. Our approach is to work closely with our clients and candidates, developing long-lasting relationships that build trust and exceed all objectives.
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