With the Senior Managers Regime coming into force this month, we have been discussing the impact of this on Compliance as a career choice and the affect it will have on job opportunities and appropriate high quality candidates, going forward.
Most of the feedback from candidates and clients alike is that the general principle of personal accountability and a greater degree of clarity surrounding the scope of responsibility of senior managers is a positive change and the best way to govern individual behaviour and culture within the industry.
There has been talk about the Senior Managers Regime potentially putting existing compliance professionals off promotion, or their career path altogether. Employees in this position already have extensive experience within the financial services sector and already know that as they progress their career their personal liability increases. By the very nature of compliance, anyone following a career within this area must have a high level of ethical and moral integrity and honesty. Those identified as senior managers may have a few restless nights, but if they have always been a responsible compliance professional they should have little to worry about. It is more likely that the rules will have a larger impact on careers within other areas of financial services companies, mainly in the operational areas as opposed to back office roles.
However, it is worth noting that salary reviews this year haven’t proved to be that significant for current employees, raising a concern that the increased risk isn’t going to be met with increased reward, at least in the short term. Part of this may be down to the increased cost involved to businesses implementing the regime by enhancing systems, processes and procedures as well as recruiting additional headcount to cope with the increased workload of training, monitoring and reporting. As a result, companies that are recruiting are finding another hike in market rates within the industry, with candidates who have not benefited from their normal increased annual pay review seeking a move for a larger increase than previously required.
The new regime has had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on the amount of work required from the Compliance team, as well as associated Legal and HR Departments, in terms of additional compliance monitoring, reporting and training. This will only increase the demand for professionals within these departments in the financial services sector and therefore open opportunities for people entering a career within the sector. Employers, and their recruitment agencies, need to ensure that candidates are being properly screened as to their reasons for entering a career within compliance, to ensure that these candidates are following this career choice for the right reasons, as opposed to purely following the thriving industries. Compliance is a high risk but high reward career that still is, and probably always will be, extremely popular with people who have the necessary attributes to succeed in this area.