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The increasing number of regulations that businesses need to remain in compliance with is set to lead to a much larger focus on operations such as anti-money laundering (AML) processes in the coming years.
This is according to new figures from Research and Markets, which estimate global spending on this activity is set to grow to more than $8 billion (£4.78 billion) by 2017. This equates to a compound annual growth rate of almost nine per cent over the forecast period.
It noted there has been a rapid rise in money laundering and other illicit activities over the last few years, which has become a major issue for financial institutions and countries around the world.
As a result, fighting this crime has become a higher priority, as governments and other international bodies are increasingly concerned about the consequences of these illicit activities on corporate governance and business operations in the financial sector, as well as the overall fundamentals of the world economy.
Therefore, many nations have enacted tougher AML regulations in order to combat this, which businesses will have to respond to by boosting their own defences.
Among the countries that already have strong AML initiatives in place, Research and Markets highlighted the US, the UK, Germany, Australia, Japan and Singapore as especially well-developed.
However, they are far from the only countries that are making this a priority, as Canada, Brazil, Russia, India and China were all identified as currently undergoing initiatives to introduce AML regulations.
Indeed, some of Canada's plans were outlined in its recent Budget Implementation Act, which sets out new rules on areas such as politically exposed persons - both foreign and domestic - as well as expanding the number of companies that will have AML responsibilities.
Research and Markets noted that tightened regulations around the world will lead to financial institutions facing a number of operational and technological challenges.
"These entail increased regulatory complexity and improvements in IT systems, documentation and record keeping. Reduced customer privacy is also expected to be a rising concern, due to increasing disclosure and information sharing requirements," it noted.
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