The European-wide focus on compliance and regulation is making hiring and retaining compliance and risk expertise a much greater priority for Nordic banks.
European banks are currently battling with a whole raft of new regulations, such as MiFID II and Basel III.
On top of this a more robust approach by financial regulators, such as the move by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway last month to report Nordea, Svenska Handelsbanken, Fondsfinans and Swedbank’s First Securities to the authorities amid allegations of suspected uncovered short-sales, is focusing minds.
While recruiters and commentators were reluctant to speak about this case specifically, one Nordic recruiter agreed securing the best compliance and risk expertise was now a significant issue for most banks.
“Changes such as MiFID II and Basel III do mean there is more of a focus on compliance,” he said.
According to Mark Holmes, lead consultant at UK-based recruitment firm Holmes Search, which has recently been advertising Stockholm-based compliance roles, there has been a significant increase in the number of internal positions being advertised looking to deal with new regulations, in the EU, UK and elsewhere.
“There is a lot of activity around anti-money laundering rules and financial crime. And, because there are so many new regulations coming in, that is having an impact on compliance,” he says.
“We thought salaries had peaked just before the credit crunch but we have seen significant increases in compliance salaries and bonuses. In some cases it is as much as 50% increase in basic salary,” he adds.