LONDON: Most major companies in the UK are keen to instil a culture where ethical behaviour is embedded "across everything they do", a report has revealed.

According to a poll of brand owners conducted by Deloitte, the advisory group, more than 90% of companies in the UK are eager to see a "cultural shift" in how they comply with formal regulations.

The issues discussed included those like privacy and data protection, with the survey findings pointing towards a shift among businesses from "doing what they must" to "doing the right thing".

A 60% majority of featured enterprises were seeking to pursue a more integrated strategy in this area during the coming year.

However, only 30% of the panel saw improving in-house ethical compliance as one of their "current priorities", meaning most believe they are "doing enough" already, Deloitte argued.

Tim Archer, a partner at the consultancy, said: "Overall the companies surveyed believed they are effective in complying with specific regulations, but they see the biggest challenge as creating an integrated approach to compliance.

"Such an approach is characterised by an organisation whose employees are driven to comply by values ... rather than rules," he added.

In demonstration of the rising importance of this activity, 64% of compliance departments had originally been established since 2009, and 95% had begun operating after 2001.

Some 86% of the executives polled agreed the increasing complexity of the legislative and regulatory environment was the main motivation behind developing these business units.

Nearly 40% of respondents predicted these teams would see substantial changes in the next 12 to 18 months, with priority areas including the creation of monitoring tools showing firms are "fit for purpose".

Data sourced from Deloitte; additional content by Warc staff