Applying to ASIC is no longer a crazy career move

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Fancy working for the watchdog? ASIC is putting banking professionals at the top of its hiring hit list as it expands its regulatory power.

The regulation of credit will transfer from state and territory agencies to ASIC from 1 November, with the organisation taking the regulatory reins for transactions such as home loans, personal loans, credit cards and overdrafts.

All this additional responsibility means ASIC has opportunities nationally for candidates with credit experience.

It is currently hiring for business-analyst and legal roles. Qualifications in banking are sought after, as is a background in compliance, risk management, finance or insurance.

But is it actually worth applying to ASIC, if you're currently in a back or mid-office banking role?

A stint being a bureaucrat won't signal a career dead-end, according to Bob Olivier, director of recruiter Olivier Group.

"Previously, working for a regulator might have been viewed as a lesser option due to lower pay and career path. However, it's now actually quite a popular place as regulators are actively recruiting and offering job security," he says.

Olivier reckons developing your compliance and risk management skills at ASIC could be beneficial if you ever want to get back to a bank.

"Experience from the regulatory perspective will be highly regarded by employers in the private sector later on. If you have been part of policy setting and the regulatory process, you are highly marketable," he adds.

Over the past year ASIC and other regulators have continued to hire as the banks have cut back, and the lack of competition in the employment market has increased their ability to take on top talent, says Jacob Smith, manager, risk management and compliance, Robert Walters.

"Working for a regulator can allow you to develop some valuable compliance insights, however it will be interesting to see whether this talent can be retained as the financial services sector starts to increase its hiring volumes again," comments Smith.