Banks recruit compliance staff to avoid punishment

BANKS are boosting the number of compliance staff they take on in order to steer clear of aggressive fines from the Financial Services Authority, a recruiting firm has said.

More than 700 of the 5,231 City jobs created in October were in regulatory-compliance, according to leading financial recruiter Astbury Marsden.

“We are being told by clients that a lot of these new jobs are being created because the FSA is still taking such an aggressive line on fining organisations that they perceive have gaps in their systems and controls,” Mark Cameron, the company’s chief operating officer said. The FSA handed down a record £33.1m of fines in the year to 31 March 2010, up 21 per cent on the previous year’s record-breaking £27.3m.

Cameron said: “If you asked our clients they would say they already have too many staff paid too much to check boxes but the regulatory burden just keeps getting heavier.”