Anti-Money Laundering IT professionals in short supply as pressures mount in Investment Banking community

BlueMax IT, a leading banking and finance recruitment consultancy, has recently encountered increasing activity within the Investment Banking community. In particular, firms have begun to ‘swoop’ on the scant supply of Anti-Money Laundering professionals in both the retail and card processing sectors. While Basel II has been the focus for many financial institutions, the increased expansion of AML regulation is causing a migration of compliance professionals from retail institutions to the more lucrative Investment Banking and Wealth Management sectors.

Traditionally such AML professionals have come from the retail account and card processing areas of high street banks. The pool of experienced candidates who know both the current and impending AML regulations, and have implemented the latest software systems is limited. These candidates typically are from the Special Investigations / Account Monitoring sections of mature card processing companies and retail banks, with knowledge and experience of account profiling, KYC, KYCB, and OFAC. Many are making the leap from Retail Banking institutions to the Investment / Wholesale Banking community, which imposes the same regulatory requirements but offers significantly larger compensation packages. Equally Management Consulting firms - who have recently been recruiting for their regulatory compliance advisory and consulting teams – are offering highly attractive packages.

As the FSA tightens the regulations further, and as pressure from the EU and Basel Committee on Banking Supervision intensifies, there will be more fines, naming and shaming non-compliant financial institutions – such as the FSA regulated bank that was fined for 375,000 breaches of money laundering requirements. This means large City institutions that have significant reputations and names to protect will happily pay top market rate for the scarce AML expertise out there. AML professionals are likely to have the longest tenure of employment as this regulation looks set to be on-going, unlike Sarbanes-Oxley.

BlueMax IT has also seen increased recruitment activity from Management Consulting firms for Basel II, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and AML professionals for both advisory and consulting roles.

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