Market Intelligence - Financial Crime

Written by Shane Ferguson on 19/09/2016

Overview

Q3 has predominantly been a permanent marketplace and hiring has slightly decreased in the summer months, as is always the case. This year the FCA has increased its efforts to fight every aspect of financial crime: Money laundering, terrorist financing, market manipulation and data theft. Along with partner agencies, the FCA is now looking towards the firms they regulate when combating financial crime. This has meant a greater number of FCC roles in the Banking sector as well as wider financial services i.e. Brokers and Asset Managers.

Skillsets in Demand

Sanctions have been a key hiring requirement of most of the top tier banks, in part due to the lifting of Sanctions in Iran earlier this year.

Financial Crime Intelligence and Investigations is another area that is experiencing significant growth at a number of top tier banks. Several of our clients have hired heavily this year to improve this function and are looking outside of the private sector to find a specific investigative skill set.

Hiring managers are now increasingly looking for ICA and ACAMS qualifications when looking at profiles and more and more candidates in the market are now taking the time to achieve this.

Pay

Salaries have seen an increase in certain areas of FCC as Banks are looking to bulk up their Financial Crime areas. MLRO and FC Advisory positions have definitely seen a significant uplift. A number of banks have KYC Remediation projects ongoing, which has meant a general uplift in day rates than seen in previous years for KYC Contractors.

Outlook

After speaking with numerous hiring managers and HR contacts at our Banking clients over the past couple of months, it doesn’t seem like there are any plans to slow down hiring. This in part is due to certain Banks being under pressure from the Regulator, but also because of growth. Certain Banks have had external hiring freezes, but as we move into Q4 that is expected to ease.

I fully expect the areas of AML, Sanctions and Investigations/Intelligence in particular to remain busy for the rest of this year and into next.

Market News

Money laundering continues to be a major problem in the banking sector, and London’s position as the world’s leading financial centre also makes it an unenviable magnet for dirty cash and suspicious trades. But now the city is trying to fight back.

Financial services firms—including banks, investment firms, and intermediaries (but not general insurers, which are not currently subject to money laundering rules)—will have to file an annual “financial crime report” to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) from the end of this year as part of the regulator’s efforts to tackle fraud and money laundering more effectively.

On July 29, the FCA published policy statement PS16/19, setting out final details of its new annual financial crime report (to be known by the abbreviation “REP-CRIM”). Under the new reporting requirements, around 1,400 firms will need to submit details regarding the number of PEPs

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