Over half (53%) of UK businesses have been forced to reject potential customers due to a lack of risk visibility. Some 61% state that excessive workload forces them into reactive firefighting instead of proactive risk management.

Dun & Bradstreet’s study of compliance decision makers reveals increased pressure on compliance teams. It notes a 28% increase in demand on their time over the past year.

Compliance teams remain under budgetary pressure

Despite this, 55% of businesses had no additional budget to dedicate towards compliance activities. This highlights the discrepancy between complying with an evolving regulatory landscape, budget constraints and the need to invest in technology to enable companies to meet these increasing demands.

The survey examines the compliance industry’s most significant future-facing challenges. It also sets out potential solutions that can help alleviate some of the increased pressure on compliance teams. It reveals 48% of UK businesses do not have appropriate Perpetual KYC or Always-On Compliance solutions in place. 52% of compliance teams say that their workload relies on inefficient manual and routine tasks.

Leveraging technology, particularly the power of data insights, will be critical for expediting risk analysis and speeding up intelligent compliance decision making, according to over two-thirds (69%) of respondents. 70% of UK businesses also note that automating their operations saves time and reduces cost. Respondents also point to how the use of data and automation can lead their teams to have more time for high-value tasks. 64% state that leveraging automation tools for periodic checks enables them to spend time on more complex or ambiguous cases.

64% of businesses investing in AI to streamline compliance

Dun & Bradstreet’s research also indicates 64% are investing in AI solutions to streamline compliance processes and enhance risk assessment while mitigating the increased cost implications.

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Stuart Swindell, Strategy Director of Third-Party Risk and Compliance at Dun & Bradstreet, UK&I said: “The regulatory landscape is facing unprecedented challenges as lawmakers continue to react and adapt in response to new technologies and a more global economy. In many cases, these regulations are necessary, like implementing sanctions on countries such as Russia in response to the conflict in Eastern Europe.

However, a lack of harmonisation and increasing regulatory demands, coupled with inadequate technology, means compliance teams are forced to invest excessive time and effort into manual tasks. This not only reduces their efficiency. It leaves them vulnerable to errors and oversights, which could otherwise be avoided.

The evolving challenges faced by UK businesses are evident. Over half have to turn down new projects due to lack of risk visibility. Yet, by embracing data insights and automation, they can navigate these hurdles and make smarter decisions. This will allow for a more seamless compliance process, and free up time to explore more high-value or growth opportunities.”