Failure to address document security challenges exposes European financial services firms to risk, according to Ricoh study

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Failure to address document security challenges exposes European financial services firms to risk, according to Ricoh study

Carsten Bruhn, Executive Vice President at Ricoh Europe

London, 19 March, 2013 – Research published by Ricoh Europe reveals that, faced with an increasingly regulated and digital business environment, the majority of Europe’s financial services organisations are concerned about the security of their documents. Less than half (47 per cent) of those surveyed  within the financial services sector think their document security is better than it was in 2009 and more than a quarter (26 per cent) think it is actually worse. In addition, only a third are able to fully audit access to documents, with the majority therefore lacking control over who might be accessing potentially sensitive information. This is despite 63 per cent having document risk management targets in place.* 

These findings come at a time when the industry, which has traditionally relied on manual and paper based approaches to processing information, is under increasing pressure to manage growing amounts of information, with customers demanding interaction through digital channels and the sector needing to keep pace with new technologies. Document processes in the financial services sector also need to comply with complex national and international regulations which are requiring document processes to be more transparent, enable stricter reporting, and allow for comprehensive audit trails.

“In the financial services sector – perhaps more than any other industry – the  two worlds of digital and paper-based documents are colliding as regulatory change and evolving customer habits force organisations to rethink the way they manage critical information, fast,” says Carsten Bruhn, Executive Vice President, Ricoh Europe. “This is one of the most heavily regulated of all industries, yet this struggle to overcome document security challenges highlights just how complex the effective management of document processes has become.”

The study also reveals that, despite being an industry where customer service is a key competitive differentiator, only a small proportion of financial services organisations have overcome the challenges of ensuring their document processes enable customer responsiveness (26%), customer retention (35%) and obtaining new customers (36%).

“Customer-facing activities – including sales and marketing, billing, service and support – all rely on document processes for smooth operation and to free up time for customer interaction. If these processes are not working properly, customers may switch allegiance, and worse: they will tell others about their dissatisfaction. Businesses in the financial services sector need to do a thorough review of these processes, both paper and digital, to make sure they are effective, agile, and secure. Doing so will enable quick access to accurate information, meaning businesses can attract customers and keep them loyal, today and in the future,” says Bruhn.
The research, the Ricoh Document Governance Index 2012, was conducted on behalf of Ricoh by Coleman Parkes Research. It reveals the extent to which new technologies are impacting the way businesses in Europe – including financial institutions – are managing information, including the business critical document processes that underpin everything from operations such as finance, HR and procurement to student records and admissions applications.

Find out how connected your business processes are by taking this survey, or download the research series here.

* The Ricoh Document Governance Index 2012 conducted on behalf of Ricoh Europe by Coleman Parkes Research, September 2012.

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| About the Ricoh Document Governance Index 2012 | 

A new perspective: Ricoh Document Governance Index 2012 is an independent research study conducted by Coleman Parkes Research and commissioned by Ricoh Europe PLC.  It provides a fresh perspective into how business-critical document processes are being managed across Europe, and builds upon Ricoh’s previous Indexes – the Ricoh Document Governance Index 2009 and the Ricoh Process Efficiency Index 2011.  

The research focuses upon business-critical document processes – the core interactions in an organisation that occur regularly and repeatedly. They may be document-heavy but more importantly they have a direct impact upon businesses interactions with clients and employees.   They include document processes within HR, financial management and reporting, procurement, accounts payable and accounts receivable.

The research consisted of 1075 interviews amongst C-level executives, Directors and other employees within large (1000+ employees), medium (500-999 employees) and small (fewer than 500 employees) organisations, located in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, The Nordics (Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark), Spain, Switzerland, the UK and Ireland. 

The organisations are based within the education, legal, utilities/energy, healthcare, public sector, retail, manufacturing and financial services sectors. Qualitative interviews were also completed with European C-level executives to gain further insight into how they manage their business-critical document processes.

Download the research here

| About Ricoh | 

Ricoh is a global technology company specialising in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group, operates in more than 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ending March 2012, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 1,903 billion yen (approx. 23 billion USD).

The majority of the company's revenue comes from products, solutions and services that improve the interaction between people and information. Ricoh also produces award-winning digital cameras and specialised industrial products. It is known for the quality of its technology, the exceptional standard of its customer service and sustainability initiatives.

Under its corporate tagline, imagine. change. Ricoh helps companies transform the way they work and harness the collective imagination of their employees. For further information, please visit  

For further information, please contact:
Ricoh Europe PLC
Janice Gibson/Louise Yarrall 
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7465 1153
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