Not everyone who works in finance can take home six-figures after a few years in the industry. Not everyone is a ‘banker’ and there are plenty of jobs on offer in both the City of London and Wall Street that offer a fairly mediocre salary regardless of how much experience you have.
Which jobs in financial services pay a relative pittance? And what do they involve? Based on the US and UK salary surveys of Robert Walters and Kennedy Pearce, here are the worst paid jobs in finance.
Reconciliations jobs are all about reconciling differences of opinions. If you work in the reconciliations department of an investment bank’s operations department, those differences in opinion will concern whether a trade took place and was settled correctly.
Many of these jobs are based London or New York, but increasingly they’re being ‘nearshored’ to lower cost destinations. Kennedy Pearce suggests that these roles never go beyond £35k ($53k) in London. Worse, a growing proportion of these jobs are going to the north of England. Here, salaries start at £18k and it takes years before they exceed £25k.
Yes, compliance is hot and some compliance professionals are so in demand that they can name their salary. However, this is not so in compliance monitoring – an area populated by people who scope all potential compliance risks across the financial services organisation. In London, these pay £60-80k if you reach a senior position.
However, what can be near-shored in the current climate will be near-shored, so compliance monitoring professionals could find themselves relocated to Salt Lake City or Manchester. In Manchester, salaries start at £18k ($27k), according to Robert Walters, and never stray beyond £40k.
Treasury payments professionals in banks are there to ensure that banks pay what they owe when they owe it. For this, you will earn the grand sum of £35k+ after five years according to Kennedy Pearce.
Do you want to support the sales staff of asset management firms, providing post-sale admin support to clients? Yes? Are you also passionate about client reporting data and CRM systems? Great! Asset managers are keen to hire you, as long as you’re content with a salary of £25-40k, according to Robert Walters.
Settlements involves everything from processing, monitoring and reconciling all the trades that take place within a bank. Unfortunately for settlements professionals, they were among the few roles where salaries headed down last year, according to Robert Walters. Associates (with four years’ experience) can expect $35-60k in NYC.
Change management professionals are hot right now. Business analysts and project managers who can lead change initiatives across the front office, compliance, operations and risk can expect starting salaries of £50k ($76k), which can rise to £140k. PMO analysts are excluded from this bounty, with salaries stuck at £35-50k. PMO analysts are responsible for ensuring the project remains on budget and on time and keeping the relevant staff members communicating with one another. It’s more admin than other project management roles and salaries reflect this.
Can you deal with an angry trader losing vital seconds because of an IT gremlin? If so, and if you can solve problems quickly, trade floor support may be a role for you. One of the selling points of banking IT jobs over other, more progressive, industries is the large salaries on offer. Trade floor support jobs are more likely to pay £35k in London, however, suggests Robert Walters.
Trade finance is all about financing international trade. It may sound exciting, but it involves a lot of administrative activities like issuing letters of credit (letters which act as a guarantee to pay someone at a later date).
After five years in the more administrative roles trade finance you can earn £48k in London according to Kennedy Pearce.