Monday 21 January 2013 8:26 pm

Bankers leave glamorous jobs for compliance roles

BANKERS are retraining in compliance in unprecedented numbers either to change career as their traditional jobs are cut, or to make sure they are well prepared to cope with tough new regulations, according to figures seen by City A.M. The City has lost over 100,000 jobs since the start of the financial crisis as banks and other finance firms cut costs. But the only real growth area in jobs has been in compliance as firms get to grips with the tidal wave of red tape sweeping the sector. That has driven up wages – a recent study from recruiters Robert Half showed bank compliance managers’ pay soaring 7.1 per cent this year to an average of £100,000. “In the last four years we have seen a 10 per cent annual rise in demand for our public courses – but in the last 12 months the figure is more like 20 per cent,” said Jonathan Bowdler from International Compliance Training (ICT), which runs courses with the Manchester Business School for the International Compliance Association. The public courses, which cost up to £3,100 and end in a professional diploma, are typically attended by senior bank staff who need a higher degree of compliance knowledge. But the group has also started running mass workshops for banks, training hundreds of staff at a time as banks try to make sure employees at all levels know how the rules work. “We are seeing more people from operations and sales backgrounds, for example, who have put a lot of time into their particular roles and then look to move across to compliance,” said Bowdler. That means the group expects to train roughly 1000 bankers in the UK this year, as well as 2000 to 3000 internationally. Major banks have made high-profile hires in compliance to show they are guarding against any more scandals. Barclays has taken on former Financial Services Authority chief executive Sir Hector Sants to head its regulatory relations department. And HSBC yesterday announced it is hiring veteran KPMG partner Ruth Horgan as global head of regulatory compliance. The institution has had to change its procedures radically following the money laundering scandal, upping its budget to deal with the threat nine-fold since 2009.