Chief risk and compliance officers increasingly vetting business activities

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LONDON - Chief compliance officers and chief risk officers are the main beneficiaries of a swing towards vetting business activities since the onset of the financial crisis, according to a new survey carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit commissioned by Navigant Consulting's financial services practice.

There was an 11% gain of respondents saying chief compliance officers had unilateral authority to intervene and curtail specific business transactions. For chief risk officers the gain was 9%, followed by the corporate legal counsel and price verification group, both of whom scored 5% gains.

Conversely, the survey recorded a 4% drop in the business veto accorded to chief executive officers, while the influence of customer relationship managers also fell by 3% and the veto of the board and "sales/marketing" by 1% apiece.

Disclosure was expected by 72% of participants to be a major focus of future regulation. The report says better risk intelligence and communications are needed to inform sound business decisions.

The survey also said risk functions were expected to grow in size and closer towards the business activities than in the past, with a general shift towards having more stakeholder inputs into risk assessment and reporting.

The survey polled 180 financial professionals, 41% of whom were senior corporate executives (including chief risk officers and board members). Navigant has included the findings within a report, authored by John Schneider, managing director of its financial services consulting practice.

The report can be read here.

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