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Pay for compliance roles jumps

11 March 2013

Remuneration for compliance roles is seeing a jump as companies make internal changes and adjustments to ensure better adherence to new rules and regulations.

In particular, in the financial services sector, banks are preparing to hire more compliance staff to cope with the splitting and restructuring of the FSA. 


Highly rated internal audit staff with strong commercial experience, in some cases, are seeing salary increases of 20%, because they are in such high demand at the banks, according to research conducted by BrightPool, a financial services recruitment company.


BrightPool Managing Director Angela Hickman said that having two financial services regulators instead of one means ‘dealing with more incoming regulatory requests ... [resulting in] a big increase in compliance staffing costs in [the] financial services [sector]’. 


‘Banks expect the focus to be deeper on both prudential and conduct issues because the new regulators have specific remits [which] adds up to more need for compliance and other staff to cope with the workload.’


Project managers in particular, are in demand in banks, to make sure that information produced by different operational units, including compliance, audit, risk and treasury, all feed into their management information as efficiently as possible.


BrightPool surveyed retail bank HR directors, of which 67% said they would be hiring more staff to cope with the transition from the FSA to its replacements, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA), which comes into effect on 1 April 2013.


Another report from financial services recruiter Robert Walters found that risk and compliance professionals continue to receive the biggest increases, with an average pay rise of 6.4% this year, well above average in the sector. 


The firm’s Director of Financial Services Recruitment Peter Milne commented that whilst overall salary growth remained conservative, ‘the biggest permanent salary increases were for compliance professionals ... consistent with what we have been seeing for the past two to three years’, adding that is it ‘primarily being driven by continuing regulatory pressure and large-scale fines imposed on the larger banks’. 


Morgan McKinley’s Head of Compliance Recruitment Craig McNicol told Governance & Compliance that everyone his team placed in a compliance role in the second half (H2) of 2012 secured an increased salary when they moved jobs with the average pay over H2 2012 for compliance hires at £62,750.


By Pooja Kondhia

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