Horizon Scanning for Compliance Officers in UK Banking & Payment Services Sector: Key Strategies

March 31, 2023

Horizon Scanning for Compliance Officers in UK Banking & Payment Services Sector: Key Strategies

Horizon scanning is a key component of this role, as it helps compliance officers stay informed of emerging trends, changes in regulations, and technological advancements that could impact their organization. In this article, we'll provide key strategies and best practices for successful horizon scanning in the UK banking and payment services sector.

Key Strategies for Successful Horizon Scanning

  1. Stay informed of regulatory changes: Compliance officers must have a good understanding of the regulatory landscape, including current regulations and any changes that may be on the horizon. Regularly checking relevant websites and subscribing to industry publications can help keep compliance officers informed of regulatory changes.
  2. Monitor industry trends and advancements: Compliance officers should be aware of the latest technological advancements and their potential impact on the industry. Monitoring competitor organizations and industry bodies can provide valuable insights into industry trends.
  3. Conduct regular risk assessments: Identifying potential risks to the organization, assessing their impact, and taking steps to mitigate them is an important aspect of horizon scanning. Regular risk assessments can help compliance officers stay ahead of potential threats.
  4. Attend industry events and read trade publications: Attending industry conferences and events and reading trade publications can provide valuable information for compliance officers and help keep them informed of the latest industry trends and advancements.
  5. Keep the organization informed: Keeping the rest of the organization informed about the results of horizon scanning activities is important for ensuring that everyone is aware of potential risks and is prepared to take action to address them.

Key regulatory outlooks

The banking and payment industry is continuously evolving, and regulatory bodies must adapt to these changes to ensure a stable and secure financial ecosystem. Some key regulatory outlooks for your business to consider in the banking and payment industry include:

  1. Open Banking and PSD2: Open banking aims to create a more competitive and innovative banking environment by allowing third-party providers (TPPs) to access customer data (with consent) and offer additional services. The EU's Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) has been instrumental in promoting open banking, mandating banks to provide access to TPPs through APIs.
  2. Strong Customer Authentication (SCA): Regulatory authorities are emphasizing the need for strong customer authentication to reduce fraud in electronic payment transactions. SCA, as part of PSD2, requires customers to provide at least two independent authentication factors from three categories: knowledge (something the user knows), possession (something the user has), and inherence (something the user is).
  3. Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT): Regulatory bodies worldwide have been increasingly focused on preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. Banks and payment providers must adhere to AML/CFT regulations and perform customer due diligence (CDD) and ongoing transaction monitoring to detect and report suspicious activities.
  4. Cryptocurrencies and Digital Assets: The growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and digital assets has led to increased regulatory scrutiny. Authorities are working on establishing comprehensive frameworks to govern digital assets and ensure consumer protection, market integrity, and financial stability.
  5. Climate-related Financial Risks: Regulatory bodies are increasingly recognizing the need to address climate-related risks in the financial sector. They may require banks and payment providers to disclose climate-related financial risks, adopt sustainable financing practices, and align their operations with environmental objectives.


Horizon scanning is a critical activity for compliance officers in the UK banking and payment services sector. By staying informed of regulatory changes, industry trends, and technological advancements, they can help their organizations stay ahead of the curve and make informed decisions. Our compliance consultancy provides expert advice and support to organizations in their compliance efforts, including horizon scanning. Contact us today to learn more about our services.


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