Sixty-five percent of banking and capital markets firms expect to increase their investment in compliance risk management at a rate of 10 percent or more over the next two years as they seek to maintain and expand the stature compliance has achieved in recent years, according to a new Accenture (NYSE:ACN) study. According to Accenture’s new study, “ Compliance’s Seat at the Table – Hard to Earn, Hard to Retain,” despite these investments, compliance organizations frequently fall short of their own expectations, creating the need for yet further efforts to raise the status of compliance within their organizations. Sixty percent of the 100 respondents said they need a stronger compliance culture. Nearly two-thirds (67 percent) said compliance needs to foster greater cooperation with their organization’s governance, and 65 percent said they need to improve regulatory relationships. It is clear that firms have already moved to raise the visibility and connectivity of the compliance function with 71 percent of 100 respondents confirming that their company’s compliance management currently reports to the CEO or board of directors. The study also revealed that compliance talent shortages are becoming a barrier to success for many companies. Thirty-four percent are looking for compliance talent to hire and 46 percent are planning to expand their compliance teams. In parallel, many are investing in training to improve compliance skill sets. “Those who do attract or skill up their workforces may benefit less than they hoped unless they also demonstrate enticing career paths for top-notch compliance risk management professionals who are hotly sought after in a relatively small talent pool,” said Steve Culp, senior managing director, Accenture Finance and Risk Services. “Centers of Excellence that create a centralized focus on compliance management may offer career opportunities for ambitious professionals and help organizations attract, retain and motivate the right mix of talent.” Eighty-five percent of respondents reported that integration of new hires is generally successful but attrition rates are high. As such, nearly half (51 percent) have engaged professional recruiters and head-hunting firms to help them identify and make competitive offers to fill out their compliance management teams. Still, in light of attrition rates, Accenture suggests that more may need to be done to encourage compliance risk management professionals to make longer-term investments in their institutions.