The after-effects of the economic crisis are still being felt, and with the release of the much-anticipated report from the FCA and PRA, detailing the erosion of banking group HBOS the lessons are still to be learnt. With regulations spilling out thick and fast, the demand for those in the regulatory compliance function is intense as authorities and industry strive to abide by the processes mandated by protocols including the Basel III Accord, Dodd-Frank and Solvency II to name but a few.
Following the seemingly laissez-faire attitude of senior management at HBOS which led to a scrambled bottom-up strategic planning system, the heat is on in the financial services industry to rethink and reprioritise when it comes to procedures concerning risk and compliance.
An overarching theme regarding the current market for regulatory compliance jobs is the extraordinarily high salaries they are commanding in this regulation-heavy climate. As financial institutions, insurers and major investment firms navigate their way through the onslaught of new legislations coming into effect across the globe, regulatory compliance professionals are seeing this demand reflected in their salaries.
With roles such as applications developers, compliance experts and information security managers well in demand, there remains an undoubted upward pressure on salaries as employers pull out all the stops to secure the best talent. As issues with supply and demand are set to continue, so salary expectations will duly reflect employers’ growing desperation to strategically grow their regulatory compliance teams.
A shortage in ably skilled compliance individuals has been a key factor in driving up pay, with junior compliance staff expecting to see increases on average of a 6.8% rise on the year as of 2016, which is more than double the 3% average pay rise across the wider economy in the last year. However, while an attractive prospect to many, it is important to acknowledge that the ever-increasing regulatory measures and expectations tightening processes within organisations means those in a compliance role are facing extremely high levels of pressure in their jobs.
The pressure on both risk and compliance professionals is coming as a result of organisations placing mounting emphasis on recruiting candidates with not only the technical prowess but also those with exceptional relationship management skills and confidence when engaging with key stakeholders. So when it comes to interviewing for a job in regulatory compliance candidates should take the opportunity to demonstrate both their technical knowledge as well as how they relate and communicate under pressure. Analytical thinking, discretion and confidence are all key traits hiring managers and employers will be looking for when adding to their team of regulatory compliance experts.
The lure of a significant pay package shouldn’t sway candidates when it comes to looking for their preferred regulatory compliance role, as while the banks and other financial services businesses emphasise their benefits, the public sector is given a back seat which could be detrimental to their work and crime fighting efforts. Skilled regulators and investigators would be wise to consider the need for banks and regulating authorities to work in tandem to better propagate their resources when considering their next move. When contemplating future career progression, it’s worth noting that the transition between banks and regulating bodies is an easy one, so both are essentially lucrative options.