The ever increasing cost of London living is having a direct effect on the capital’s workforce with a number of banks and financial services firms moving staff, resources and operations to regional outposts in others of the country’s largest cities, including Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham. However, while many of the large banking empires, among them Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, navigate the scarcity of London office space with regional relocations, the demand for professionals to fill compliance jobs in London remains high.
Finance news wires are full of prosperous salary expectations for those with senior compliance experience, asserting that both advisors and monitors in the compliance space can expect to earn upwards of £100k after five years in a London-based outfit. The Midlands figures are comparatively lower, sitting well below £50k. Though for those moving into more junior-level compliance jobs, it is arguable that a regional position would be more advantageous with regards to lower cost of living, affordable housing and above all opportunity.
As 2016 looks set to shine the spotlight for demand on accountants with up to 7 years’ experience, many organisations are looking for candidates who offer a hybrid set of expertise across reporting and analysis, together with an accountancy qualification, following a minimum of 5 years practical working experience.
Among the Big Four accountancy firms; EY, Deloitte, KPMG and PwC, thousands of jobs have been created over the past 12 months with a particular focus in the emerging areas of cybersecurity and regulatory consulting. With a distinct shortage of skills in the areas of compliance and risk management, those professionals in possession of niche experience and knowledge are at the top of the banks’ wish list for 2016. In a largely cost-cutting environment under constant pressure from regulators, certain exceptions are enabling those with the desired expertise to find compliance opportunities in London.
Regulatory knowledge remains a significant priority for hiring managers when it comes to filling compliance roles, though what this expertise equates to is an individual’s ability to demonstrate a thoroughly up-to-date understanding of existing and impending regulation and source books. Currently banks, including Deutsche Bank, are hiring people to help implement the Volcker Rule, while companies such as Goldman Sachs are focusing their hiring towards preparing for MiFID II, due to come into effect in 2018.
A proficient technology skillset is another key criterion for compliance jobs in London as regulatory change not only illuminates the need for compliance, risk and regulatory reporting professionals but also those with the technological prowess to support banks in handling regulatory processes. Candidates with strong experience within the investment banking industry are also much in demand, bringing their exposure to emerging markets into a compliance role from which to execute processes, particularly at the higher levels of business.
A consistent theme, which has continued from 2015, in the overall hiring agenda for London banks and boutique operations is the focus on bolstering infrastructure and support roles as organisations acknowledge the importance of building a strong compliance-driven framework to combat the growing burden of regulations and diminished appetite for risk. Thus excellent written and oral communication is paramount to securing a compliance role in London, as well as analytical thinking and a fluent grasp of technology and internal controls.