UK financial services executives call for harmonised regulatory environment

New research reveals a harmonised regulatory environment within the European Union is important to the operational well-being of their businesses

  • 93% of UK FS executives say harmonised regulatory environment in the EU is vital
  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML) tops list for regulation affecting UK businesses
  • Regulatory compliance drives demand for senior skills – raising compliance budgets for 53% of UK businesses

London, 13 August 2012 – Faced with a barrage of different financial regulations, including Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements, anti-corruption requirements, privacy regulation and Basel III, the vast majority of UK financial services CFOs and COOs (93%) believe that a harmonised regulatory environment within the European Union is important to the operational well-being of their businesses.  Ninety-two per cent believe a single environment is important across Eurozone (common currency) countries, while 88% think it is important globally, finds new research from Robert Half Financial Services.

When asked which global regulation has had the most significant impact on their business over the past six months, UK finance professionals cited AML requirements, disclosure or reporting requirements and privacy requirements as their top three areas.

200 UK CFOs/COOs were asked, ’Which three of the following global regulations have had the most significant impact on your business’. Their responses:

Anti-Money Laundering requirements


Disclosure or reporting requirements


Privacy requirements


Anti-corruption requirements


Basel III


Sanction requirements






Turner Report (FSA)


SOX, JSOX or equivalent


Dodd-Frank Act





The need to meet demand for so many areas of regulatory change is driving demand for senior finance professionals with the right skills to ensure their organisations are compliant.  This has led to a rise in compliance budgets for more than half (53%) of UK businesses over pre-2008 budgets, with a further 37% reporting that they have maintained the same expenditure.

200 UK CFOs/CFOs were asked, ’Compared to pre-2008, has your compliance budget, including capital expenditure and labour costs increased, decreased or stayed the same?’ Their responses:





Stayed the same



Neil Owen, Global Practice Director, Robert Half Financial Services said: “We have noticed a significant increase in demand from organisations to manage their compliance requirements in-house, bringing the right talent on board to help them stay ahead of the regulation tsunami. Some companies are bringing on permanent senior professionals; others are turning to project specialists with previous experience implementing regulatory change to oversee key initiatives.  It’s not surprising that so many financial executives believe it is important to harmonise all of these areas of regulatory compliance, which has become such a huge element of their day-to-day role and that is driving up costs for the majority of businesses.”

About the Survey

The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 50 chief financial officers and 50 chief operations officers from financial services organisations in London and other major UK centres. The survey was conducted in June 2012.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at and