S’pore’s CFOs Say Cost of Compliance Has Increased

The cost of compliance in Singapore is increasing as government regulations place added pressure on businesses, which is driving demand for skilled financial services professionals.

According to independent research commissioned by specialist recruiter Robert Half, the surge in demand for compliance professionals is creating a skills gap as demand outweighs supply.

In an ever-changing regulatory market, 76 per cent of Singaporean finance leaders say the cost of compliance has increased compared to three years ago. This is partly due to existing regulations becoming more complex and new regulations being introduced in Singapore.

“The cost of compliance in Singapore is rising – which is a legacy of the global financial crisis resulting in a stricter regulatory environment,” says Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director at Robert Half Singapore. “This rising cost requires companies to invest in educating and upskilling in-house staff or hiring compliance officers to navigate the changing landscape.”

“Compliance professionals serve a key function in any company as a contributing business partner. The most sought-after compliance professionals are those who are able to understand and stay abreast of the latest regulations companies may face, they are able to streamline the compliance process and effectively cut costs for the business whilst maintaining regulatory standards.”

“As a regional and global financial hub, Singapore boasts numerous international companies, all of whom have stricter regulatory policies to comply by than their SME counterparts, which is again a factor explaining demand for compliance professionals in Singapore.”

Out of the Singaporean CFOs who are planning to add permanent financial services staff, almost half (46 per cent) state they will be sourcing compliance professionals to add to their teams.

Adding to this demand and compounding the increased cost, the search for skilled compliance professionals is not without challenges. The overall majority (95 per cent) of Singaporean finance leaders say it is challenging to source qualified compliance professionals.

“As demand currently outweighs supply for compliance professionals, companies adhering to strict regulations need to proactively assess any skills gap within their teams, and assess whether their existing staff need further training or if they need to invest in onboarding additional staff, either on a temporary or permanent basis, to cover the increased compliance workloads,” adds  Imbert-Bouchard.

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