Conquering Compliance – Moving Beyond Just Doing Enough

In today’s environment, the compliance function is more important than ever. It is responsible for safeguarding the reputation of the business, delivering a high level of customer service, and avoiding regulatory fines.

In the face of growing regulations and customer expectations, organisations can no longer get away with doing just enough.

However, financial institutions (FIs) and other industries that must carry out anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) processes are clearly struggling. Recently we saw one of the largest fines in history when the Financial Conduct Authority announced a levy of over $200 million because a European bank failed to meet Customer Due Diligence (CDD) requirements.


The challenge is that, while on one hand FIs are operating in an environment where an estimated 2.7% of GDP is laundered and thorough checks are essential, on the other hand there are pressures to onboard customers quickly to meet growing revenue targets.

To understand their pain points, what they are doing to comply, and their expectations for the coming few years, Dun & Bradstreet surveyed one hundred UK compliance professionals in our Conquering Compliance study.

We found that although a small number of compliance professionals are looking at automation to tackle the burden, many are only just coping. Forty per cent of respondents say they follow the ‘three lines of defence’ (3LOD) approach, which is encouraging. Although, it’s not a quick process, and 54% claim it takes between three and six days to onboard a new business customer.

Not only that, but compliance professionals believe things are only going to become more challenging in the coming months and years. Forty-nine per cent believe it will become more difficult to comply with financial regulation, and 44% believe this will have a detrimental impact on their ability to onboard new clients.

Carrying out CDD is now often treated as ticking a box, but there is an opportunity for it to be much more than that. Through automation and by streamlining the onboarding process, it can become a service differentiator in what is a crowded and competitive market. The compliance function often has the first meaningful interactions with a customer, even if not directly, and making this experience as smooth as possible will have a positive impact on the wider business and its bottom line.

In the face of growing regulations, FIs can no longer get away with doing just enough. Not only does this put them at the risk of huge fines if they don’t get it right, but customer experience and competitive advantage suffer.

The benefits of using technology are clear. For example, 60% of compliance professionals believe an automated CDD process would lead to quicker time to revenue. It’s just a case of using the right technology in the right way.

Download our report Conquering Compliance – Shining a Light on Customer Due Diligence to find out how other compliance professionals are dealing with CDD, what they expect in the future, and advice on how you can do more than “just enough."