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Retail banks preparing to hire more compliance staff Says BrightPool

Retail banks preparing to hire more compliance staff Says BrightPool

-          Two thirds of retail banks say regulatory change will create more retail banking jobs 

The break-up of the Financial Services Authority at the start of April is set to create more compliance and risk jobs in the retail banking sector, according to research from BrightPool, the specialist financial services recruitment company.

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

According to BrightPool, not a single respondent said the change would lead to a reduction in compliance and risk jobs in retail banks, in a sign that the break-up of the FSA is adding to the staffing cost of regulation for the banks.

Angela Hickmore, Managing Director at BrightPool, says: “Banks are concerned that having two financial services regulators rather than one means dealing with more incoming regulatory requests from the regulators. The potential downside of breaking up the FSA is a big increase in compliance staffing costs in financial services.”

“Banks also expect the focus to be deeper on both prudential and conduct issues because the new regulators have specific remits.  This all adds up to more need for compliance and other staff to cope with the workload.”

“Some banks are also planning operational changes to make sure their prudential reporting is watertight when the dedicated prudential regulator comes into being.  The banks are looking for project managers to make sure that information produced by their different operational units, including compliance, audit, risk and treasury, all feed into their management information as efficiently as possible.”

“The retail banks are so big that it is very difficult to make sure that there are no gaps or overlaps between the different operational business units.  The break-up of the FSA has put this under the spotlight.”

BrightPool says that highly rated internal audit staff with strong commercial experience are in some cases seeing salary increases of 20% because they are in such high demand at the banks.

Angela Hickmore comments, “A lot of the headlines about job trends in banks are about redundancies, but changes retail banks are making in the wake of the financial crisis are also creating a lot of new job requirements for roles that have become increasingly important.”

“The shake-up in financial services regulation means that internal audit staff with a commercial perspective on their role are particularly highly sought after at the moment.”

Ring-fencing retail and investment banking

48% of HR directors at retail banks also say that plans to ring-fence retail and investment banking will create more jobs in the retail banking sector, while only 22% said it would decrease the number of jobs.

Angela Hickmore comments: “The legislation that will introduce ring-fencing is currently going through Parliament, so it will be some time before the banks have to implement the changes.  However, the early indications from the banks are that implementing ring-fencing will create a short term need for staff.”

“The big decisions will be made in the boardroom, but there will be lots of smaller technical detail that will need to be ironed out.  This is likely to drive demand for project managers who can be brought in to analyse specific problems, make a recommendation and then implement it.” 

Will the break-up of the FSA into the PRA and the FCA increase or decrease the number of compliance and risk jobs in retail banks?

Increase

67%

Decrease

0%

Neither

33%

Will plans to split retail and investment banking units increase or decrease the number of compliance and risk jobs in retail banks?

Increase

48%

Decrease

22%

Neither

30%

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