Compliance Jobs in the UK
While it’s true, the shadow of Brexit is casting an air of uncertainty over jobs in the UK, compliance is perhaps one of the few areas in the financial services industry that remains strong with regards hiring.
Britain’s departure from the European bloc is not the only matter affecting UK business, as the GDPR directive prepares to come into effect next May and with it the need for more stringent compliance with the new data protection regulations. Thus the hiring priorities of UK employers for compliance professionals will be directing a large proportion of its focus on compliance monitoring personnel, both at senior standing as well as junior and mid-level professionals. The latter, applying for frontline advisory roles on the trading floor, will certainly see a healthy range of salaries being presented to them, in large part due to employers competing to secure the top talent on the market.
Candidates applying to compliance jobs in the UK may also be surprised to learn that due to skills shortages in their discipline, employers are more open as to the routes in their compliance staff enter through. Accepting individuals from non-traditional backgrounds such as asset management, hedge funds and insurance, companies are having to relax their expectations as the demand for data, compliance and regulatory change professionals dominates the hiring agenda.
Along with the GDPR, further pressure from regulators is driving demand when it comes to compliance jobs in the UK finance space. The MFID regulation, which was key in triggering the hiring of compliance professionals in 2016, is currently fuelling the hiring of compliance contractors along with regulations regarding margin reform and repapering for uncleared OTC derivatives.
The good news is that employers and recruiters are wont to make speedy decisions when it comes to hiring for UK compliance roles, which is positioning compliance jobs as one of the more accessible finance jobs on the market along with cybersecurity, risk, audit and technology. Certainly banks are not slowing their hiring in these areas, despite news that many of the major banking names are making post-Brexit plans to move thousands of jobs to European destinations including Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin.
On the subject of technology, many banks are or have already introduced automated processes into their compliance monitoring and control room operations, meaning that today’s compliance candidates have the added expectation of needing coding experience, as well as expertise in programming and big data. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are just two of the heavy hitters employing this contemporary approach to the way they run their compliance teams. As a result, employers are looking for compliance candidates who can demonstrate proficiency with statistics, analytical thinking and technological understanding.
Criteria for candidates moving into compliance roles, comprise the need for a solid understanding of industry regulations, with particular attention applied to what GDPR will require, as well as experience and knowledge of IT systems, platforms, networking and security technologies. Those working in compliance must also be able to exhibit good communication both in person and on paper as they will be expected to write up technical documents as well as to liaise with key business stakeholders.
Salaries typically range from around £50,000 to upwards of £100,000 dependent on the area of compliance a candidate is applying to work in and the number of years’ experience they bring to the table. Certainly roles in product advisory, monitoring and assurance, regulatory compliance and general compliance offer the highest earning potential in the field with the more experienced and senior compliance professionals looking to generate salaries of on average £120,000.