Just over a quarter of executives responsible for compliance attend all board meetings, according to new research which looked at the compliance practices of large corporates around the world.
The study found 27% of chief compliance officers attend all boardroom gatherings, while a little more than half of boards, 56%, say they have an ethics and compliance committee.
According to Control Risks in its annual study of compliance practices, companies may also be over-reliant on whistleblowing to spot trouble. While 64% of corporates use whistleblowing, 41% of those companies questioned use compliance audits, while just 18% use surprise fraud audits.
The research also reveals that 26% of companies are spending less than $25 per employee per year on compliance.
The report says that these spend levels come precisely at a time when enforcement agencies are becoming increasingly more organised to police regulation and the law.
Just over a quarter, 28%, of large companies were found to have compliance teams of five people or fewer.
Richard Fenning, chief executive at Control Risks, said: “Companies are in danger of putting themselves at risk by failing to prioritise and integrate compliance within their businesses.
“Whilst the necessary investment will vary widely between organisations, many companies are woefully under-resourced to deal with the increasingly complex, constantly evolving and often contradictory regulatory environment.
“Those companies that get it right recognise that, as well as mitigating against heavy fines, legal fees and reputational damage, well planned and executed compliance risk management can help capitalise on opportunities that they would otherwise miss, especially in high-risk markets.”