Preparations for Brexit expected in compliance recruitment

Caleb Hawkins 27.02.2018

We have asked our specialist discipline teams what they envisage happening within their industry in 2018. Here are the predictions of our compliance recruitment division.

What is the main trend you foresee for compliance in 2018?

We foresee the market continuously improving and growing throughout the year. MiFID II/regulatory hiring will continue across H1 and likely into Q1 of H2 for those firms that are well behind the curve. Regulation will also drive the demand for GDPR and IT/technology Compliance candidates with wide skill sets. Hirings to prepare for Brexit are anticipated, with firms attempting to come up with contingency plans.

Internal hirings are expected to continue as the preferred option for larger banks who are seeking to save costs. Smaller banks/asset managers are now actively hiring for specific areas of compliance compared to the generalist roles of years gone by. There is also going to be a big focus on diversity, with many clients stating they would be happy to create opportunities for strong female candidates, even if there isn’t an open vacancy.

How is the compliance sector looking with the progression of Brexit policies?

A number of firms continue to increase headcount within regulatory change/horizon scanning teams as policies progress. Senior level hires have been the focus, as expert knowledge of policies and implementation will become increasingly valuable.

Some firms are actively looking to hire in other jurisdictions such as Dublin. By moving a senior compliance officer across, operations can be opened up whilst having dotted lines to senior management in London or further afield. It is challenging to locate permanent candidates who are prepared to move, and with less experienced people based away from the UK, operational issues could be encountered.

At present, is there a high demand for certain compliance jobs? And why?

Unsurprisingly, across both permanent and temporary positions, Compliance Monitoring and Regulatory roles are in high demand due to MiFID II and Brexit. Further to this, GDPR taking over Data Protection Regulation in May has led to a number of firms hiring IT/technology candidates with systems knowledge, across both Financial Services and Commerce & Industry. There will also be continued temporary hirings for project based KYC roles.

What skills and attributes are particularly desirable in compliance at the moment?

AML advisory, including developing policies, procedures and frameworks, will remain desirable throughout 2018. As mentioned above, any experience in the regulatory space, as well as in surveillance, adds value to your application. Interpersonal skills and extra qualifications will always be beneficial; ACAMS / ICA Diploma Financial Crime and CISI will put you at an advantage over other candidates.

What are the current salary bands looking like in comparison to recent years?

Salaries remain fairly in-line with the last couple of years. Permanent pay rises in compliance jobs have dropped, with the average rise now at around the 15% mark. The temporary KYC space is the only area where we are seeing a drop in salaries; this can be put down to larger scale remediation projects either paying lower rates or offshoring.

What one piece of advice would you give someone currently looking for a job in compliance?

For those looking to start a career in compliance, a law degree wouldn’t go amiss. If possible, upskill with additional qualifications and utilise your network. The compliance industry is relatively small and you could end up being referred internally by the right people.

Career prospects can be improved by further training and compliance qualifications; not only will you possess the certifications and increase your knowledge, but it demonstrates a willingness to embrace change from a personal perspective.

Caleb Hawkins's picture
Head of Compliance & Legal Temporary Recruitment
chawkins@morganmckinley.co.uk