How much can you earn working in compliance for an investment bank? An amalgamation of salary surveys

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The pyramid of regulatory compliance

The pyramid of regulatory compliance (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In light of the issues at Barclays, HSBC, Standard Chartered and all banks excluding Barclays involved in LIBOR fiddling, it seems fair to say that compliance is going to be a favoured function in investment banks for the forseeable future. The FSA is unlikely to look kindly upon any bank that decides compliance is a good place to eradicate staff. One senior strategy consultant who's helping banks reshape their businesses tells us there's going to be a lot of knee-jerk compliance hiring in the year to come and that now's the time to reposition yourself if you're worried about your longevity in the front office.

But how much can you earn working in compliance? Will you still be able to pay the mortgage? The school fees? It depends which of the following compliance salary surveys from compliance recruitment firms you trust.

Robert Walters' compliance salary survey:

Robert Walters' compliance salary survey is among the most favourable. With six years' experience, it suggests you can £180k+ in salary alone working as compliance product advisor in an investment bank. Within 4-6 years, you can earn six figures as an anti-money laundering professional. Moreover, Robert Walters says compliance salaries are rising - which is not the case for salaries elsewhere in investment banks.

Hudson's compliance salary survey 

Hudson's compliance salaries are a little more muted. It thinks you'll need to be a global head of compliance or at the very least a 'country compliance officer' to earn £180k-£250k. According to its figures, director-level anti-money laundering officers in investment banks will only be earning £95k in salary. Product advisory professionals might at £130k at the senior end.

Morgan McKinley's compliance salary survey 

Like Robert Walters, Morgan McKinley thinks there are some big salaries in compliance. Unlike Robert Walters, it thinks it will take you longer to earn them. Front office compliance advisors can earn £180k, says MMck, but after 10 years instead of 6. Similarly, control room professionals will need to work for a decade before their salaries hit six figures.

PSD Group's compliance salary survey

Finally, there's PSD Group's salary survey. This is even less promising than Hudson's salary survey. Even heads of compliance advisory are only on a 'mere' £140k according to PSD.  They think you will need to be a group director of financial crime to earn the really enormous money.