Career paths in compliance

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Huge growth in demand for compliance professionals in banking and financial services in the last few years has led to an acute candidate shortage. For professionals early in their compliance career, or looking to move into a career in compliance now is a great time to explore the opportunities available.



"With the banking industry under enormous pressure to conform to new national, European and international regulations, this continuing regulatory reform means that demand for people conversant with the regulations and practicalities of finance is extremely high," said Emily Hamburg, Senior Manager at Robert Walters.

Employers are now offering exciting career development opportunities, good salaries and attractive benefits to find the right people.

Who is in demand?

Emily Hamburg continues, "We're seeing shortages across the board and at the moment; there's huge demand in financial crime specialisms such as AML [anti-money laundering], enhanced due diligence and specific product advisory roles where you're advising the front office."

How to develop your career in compliance

There are a few specialist masters degrees and other courses with a regulatory focus, including some offered by Reading University and Henley Business School's ICMA Centre, but most educational institutions have been slow to reflect compliance's rising importance.

Graduate opportunities

Low levels of graduate recruitment into compliance are a challenge for employers, but this is changing. Where banks used to see compliance as a cost rather than an income generator, it is now a core function.

For graduates, it used to be seen as less glamorous than a front office role. Compliance is, however, an increasingly important area of practice, in which opportunities for employment are continuing to grow.

Continuing regulatory reform means that demand for people conversant with the regulations and practicalities of finance is extremely high, but the supply of suitable talent cannot keep up.

Find out what the market's like for compliance professionals at the moment by searching the latest vacancies or speaking to Emily Hamburg, Senior Manager of our Compliance& Financial Crime division, on +44 (0)20 7509 8358 or email

For further career advice, read our latest career advice articles here.

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