As 2020 came to a close, our clients experienced a significant uplift in hires within the Financial Crime, Regulatory Compliance and Risk space across the UK, and we ended the year up by 91% compared to 2019. Below, we round up some of the key themes from last year’s Q4.
Significant increase in senior hires in the Financial Crime & Regulatory space, namely SMFs, MLROs, DMLROs, Head/Directors of compliance, Reg & Risk. Interestingly, we experienced a fairly equal split between Perm & Interim senior hires.
Banks continue to build FLoD AML, KYC & Due Diligence teams and supplement with specialist contractors on a SoW basis to assist with; Remediation, Periodic review and CDD / EDD / Refresh / Transaction monitoring / Policy exercises projected to last well into 2021. Salaries experienced a slight increase and contract rates remained unchanged.
Mass contractor cuts and permanent recruitment freezes did not materialise, despite Covid19, IR35 and the scaling down of furlough arrangements. There does appear to have been regional differences, however, with the most pronounced drops being seen in the West Midlands, South West and North West.
Blurred lines between 1st & 2nd LoDs as firms appear to recognise the ramifications of 1st line non-adherence, not always being picked up by 2nd line. Various strategies in this regard have begun to emerge including 2nd line functions sitting in 1st line in a QC / escalation capacity.
Permanent professionals at all levels are reluctant to move. As a result, attracting top talent away from their seemingly safe jobs has become more challenging. We have supported and encouraged our clients to be more flexible with their benefits arrangements, probationary periods and flexible working arrangements.
Flexible working arrangements are here to stay – Perm candidates are expecting firms to have clearly communicated flexible working policies set for the future beyond lockdown / Covid19 restrictions. This is now a key consideration for candidates presently in roles and those weighing up offers. On the flip side, the embedding of flexible working arrangements widens the talent pool for firms that may otherwise struggle to attract the skillsets they require in the region.
Risk – Digital, IT, Tech, Cyber, DP experienced / savvy professionals are in high demand and we see this as a key focus area through 2021 and beyond.
Outsourcing / bolting on specialist contractors to perform remediation, periodic review, and refresh exercises. With the majority of financial crime specialists working from home, financial services organisations are often falling behind on these activities, and asking for assistance from mid-sized / bespoke consultancies such as our sister company, Project Partners.
Climate Risk & Change related roles are likely to ramp up through 2021 and beyond, as more firms and individuals have this on their agenda.