Most large UK financial institutions view data as essential to the business, but many are failing to manage data well, a survey has revealed.
Although 86% of organisations surveyed said data quality was important and 89% said data was a strategic asset, only 11% said they were implementing some form of data governance.
Smaller organisations with fewer than 1,000 employees are less likely to consider data governance projects, making up 38% of those not considering it.
"This is shocking if we take data governance to mean visibility and control over where data resides, understanding its business value and who has access to it," said Colin Rickard managing director at DataFlux.
The survey revealed that responsibility for data quality or governance tends to be scattered, with six in 10 respondents saying data quality is managed across multiple business units.
In more than a third (36%) of financial institutions surveyed, the IT department assumes responsibility for data and 16% admitted that noone had specific responsibility.
This will have to change to comply with current and expected regulations, said Rickard.
"Financial services legislation demands robust processes for guaranteeing the accuracy of data held on assets and customers," he said.
According to Rickard, IT departments should be responsible only for the storage, access, backup and recovery of data.
"Data content, accuracy, consistency and the business value of the data should be the responsibility of risk and compliance managers, because data governance is primarily a business issue," he said.
More than 90% of respondents said an increase in compliance regulation is likely in the next years and that it will focus on security, accuracy and quality of data.
Respondents said they expect new regulations to be aimed at preventing ID theft, data leakage, money laundering and scams.
They also expect an increase in the power of regulators and a strengthening of enforcement through increased audits, reviews and raids.
Data integration and effective management to meet regulatory requirements were identified as key challenges in the next 12 months for financial services providers.