UK financial services executives spend one day a week managing regulatory change

03 September 2012
  • Six in 10 (59%) UK FS executives say time spent on managing regulatory change is now more or significantly more than before recession
  • Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) say that teams are ‘not very’ or ‘not at all knowledgeable’ about changes in the regulatory landscape

London, 3 September 2012 – UK financial services CFOs and COOs report that the amount of time spent dealing with regulatory change has now risen to an average 18%, representing almost one whole day every week.  The amount of time spent on managing regulatory change has grown considerably, with 59% of FS executives saying that they spend either ‘more’ or ‘significantly more’ time each week on regulatory matters than they did three years ago.

However, senior FS executives are also facing the challenge of managing this barrage of regulatory change without strong support from their teams.  Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) CFOs and COOs say that their teams are not very or not at all knowledgeable about changes to the regulatory landscape.  Those who are least knowledgeable are medium sized companies (50%) followed by small companies (39%). Large companies are the most knowledgeable, with only one in five (22%) executives indicating that their teams do not have the requisite understanding.

UK departments are less knowledgeable than some of their global counterparts: 89% of CFOs and COOs in Hong Kong say that their teams are ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ knowledgeable followed by 82% of peers in Germany and 70% in Singapore.

Unsurprisingly, UK CFOs/COOs would prefer their teams to be more knowledgeable than they are currently, with 87% stating that their understanding should be improved.

200 UK CFOs/COOs were asked, ’How knowledgeable should your team be about changes to the regulatory landscape’. Their responses:

 

Very knowledgeable 34%
Somewhat knowledgeable 53%
Not very knowledgeable 12%
Not at all knowledgeable 1%

While 62% of companies feel their teams are knowledgeable about regulatory change, 87% feel they should be.  This has created a knowledge gap for a quarter of companies who don’t think their teams have the skills they should have to manage regulatory change, creating a huge demand for permanent or interim regulatory specialists.

200 UK CFOs/CFOs were asked, ’Compared to three years ago, is the proportion of your time spent on managing regulatory change higher or lower?’ Their responses:

 

Significantly more 26%
Somewhat more 33%
No change 26%
Somewhat less 12%
Significantly less 3%

 

Neil Owen, Global Practice Director, Robert Half Financial Services said: “Senior FS professionals face a real dilemma: they have no choice but to manage the huge workload that regulatory change represents, but also find that their teams lack the necessary knowledge to keep their companies on top of it all.  This is having a severe impact on their own workload because a whole day every week is being devoted to regulatory compliance – a huge chunk of their time.  It’s not surprising that we are seeing such a big demand for interim and permanent FS staff with proven regulatory compliance and management skills who can help move projects forward.”

ENDS

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500 and #1 in our industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s “World's Most Admired Companies” list (2015). Founded in 1948, the company has over 340 offices worldwide and 18 in the United Kingdom providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and job seeker resources at roberthalf.co.uk and twitter.com/roberthalfuk.