The 2021 Guide to Compliance Jobs in London

About Compliance Jobs in London

The success of a business or an organisation isn’t just dependent on its performance but also on its commitment to upholding ethical and professional standards. Sustaining a good reputation helps organisations manage risks, avoid lawsuits, and maintain customer loyalty.

That said, compliance jobs in London entail overlooking all matters regarding the observance of national and international laws. They spend most of their working hours ensuring their company remains compliant to avoid lawsuits and minimise risks.

Compliance Officer Job Description

Compliance isn’t as simple as following a set of rules and laws. There needs to be a balance between the ethical and pragmatic components of it. For this reason, employees need to have ample knowledge of existing standard laws and the organisation’s vision and make sure that those two align. If compliance officers fail to fulfil their duties, this can result in hefty fines and severe ramifications to the organisation.

Aside from creating compliance measures and evaluating possible financial risks, a compliance officer must submit reports to stakeholders. These reports are crucial for assessing the effectiveness of the organisation’s compliance measures.

Consultation meetings with executives are also part of the compliance job description. They offer recommendations on which actions and changes to take to avoid risks and legal consequences. Often, the management will expect compliance officers to work together as partners for creating management strategies.

Duties in Compliance Roles

Compliance officers have several responsibilities. Below is an overview of their typical duties:

  • Create, implement, and manage the organisation’s compliance programs
  • Coordinate with regulators and agencies
  • Identify, monitor, and report all compliance issues to proper channels
  • Conduct compliance training for employees
  • Create reports on compliance programs and issues
  • Work with management to come up with compliance programs that make business sense

Types of Compliance Officer Jobs in London

Due to the broad range of compliance officer roles, most people divide the profession into different key areas. In this section, we will identify those fields and describe them briefly.

Regulatory and Legal Compliance

Companies need to prepare for and adapt to continually evolving regulations from government agencies, industry bodies, and stock exchanges. A company’s ability to adapt is necessary to keep the business afloat. Sometimes, it can be daunting because regulations can cover almost everything from materials and safety measures to infrastructure.

Those with regulatory compliance jobs write policies and procedures based on external regulations. Apart from this, they also provide counsel to companies on interpreting rules. For this reason, officers need to constantly communicate with management to ensure the company is compliant with protocols.

Officers seeking employment in regulatory compliance jobs in London will do well if they have experience in the industry they’re looking to work in. This will give the candidate an impression of expertise in the field, which is valuable in regulatory and legal compliance roles.

There should also be a comprehensive understanding of the possible effects of regulations on the organisation. Oftentimes, the officer will need to explain the bigger picture for management to see potential costs and consequences.

Another key to succeeding in regulatory and legal compliance jobs is the ability to look ahead. When officers are predictive, they can carry out pre-emptive steps to prevent company losses.

IT Compliance

As businesses transition to digital for all of their transactions, data privacy becomes all the more crucial. To meet this need, government agencies work to create regulations requiring organisations to strictly adhere to privacy laws.

Most of these regulations look into how company employees access, interact with, and store data. Consequently, the responsibility of writing policies and procedures to ensure the safety of records is part of the IT compliance administrator job description.

Aside from writing policies, IT compliance officers also provide management recommendations regarding best practices for data protection. This includes advice on server locations and safety measures against phishing attempts.

In the event of a cybersecurity breach, compliance professionals need to conduct an investigation. A thorough assessment of the violation will follow so the company can develop solutions to mitigate the risks.

Because of the nature of the industry, the ideal candidate for careers in compliance in IT is someone who’s held an IT role before. Further, a candidate with experience in cybersecurity will definitely hold a competitive advantage.

Financial Services Compliance

Financial compliance officers primarily focus on preventing companies from falling victim to financial crime. For this reason, compliance analyst jobs in this industry require experience and skill in anti-money laundering, fraud, and corruption.

Aside from dodging financial crimes, these compliance officers also have operational duties. They need to develop ways to minimise the risk surrounding internet banking, investments, and more.

To succeed in financial compliance jobs, you need to have ample experience in the industry. Additionally, organisations also consider management, data, and fraud analysts as valuable assets.

Work Environment in Risk and Compliance Jobs

The work environment depends on your specific role and industry. Some compliance officers may spend a lot of their working hours in an office, while others might be out in the field doing visits. Some officers will even spend hours outside — checking roads, construction sites, pipelines, and many other things.

Most people think compliance jobs are stressful, especially if they fail to adhere to the standards. If this happens, the organisation may need to pay government fines and experience financial loss. In particular, head of compliance jobs deal with additional stress because they are responsible for compliance officers under them.

Work Schedule

Compliance officers typically work during regular office hours. They also work a total of 40 hours per week, just like any other typical job in London. However, schedules can still vary depending on the industry and responsibilities of the position.

Qualifications for Compliance Officer Jobs in London

There are no fixed qualifications to work in compliance. Still, the increasing importance of the role is leading organisations to establish requirements to qualify for the position.

Education

Compliance jobs rarely require candidates to have a specific field of study. Typically, a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline can apply for compliance jobs in London. Some organisations might prefer candidates with commercial and law degrees, but this doesn’t mean that businesses won’t accept applicants with expertise in other fields.

It’s important to remember that compliance is a broad profession. Companies of varying industries will have distinct functions and preferences in terms of experience and education.

Those who want to land entry-level compliance jobs in London may also consider earning certifications from online learning platforms. They provide training courses to aspiring compliance officers, which typically last for a year.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

If you apply for higher-level roles, such as senior compliance jobs in London, employers may need certain certifications. The International Compliance Association offers an advanced certificate and diploma in compliance.

The advanced certification requires the completion of an introductory course that takes six months to finish. On the other hand, the diploma is an upper-level program that qualified applicants can take.

To qualify for a diploma, you need to have an advanced certificate and three years of relevant work experience. The training for the diploma lasts 9 to 12 months.

Advancement

Advancement is faster in the compliance career than in other occupations. Even if you started out in compliance assistant jobs in London, you have a high chance of being promoted to high-ranking roles. Junior officers are usually promoted to senior officer roles within two to four years.

Important Qualities

Like any other profession, you will need specific skills and qualities to succeed in compliance roles in London. Here are some vital qualities you need to have:

Problem-solving skills

In this field, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. That is why a compliance officer should know how to address problems in an effective and timely manner to prevent the company from incurring any losses.

Analytical skills

Analysing and interpreting regulations is part of the compliance analyst job description. Some industries need the officer to analyse information quickly, especially in trading, where immediate decisions have to be made.

Detail-oriented

Compliance officers have a responsibility to pay attention to all details at the granular levels. Often, failing to recognise fine points can be costly to the organisation.

Communication skills

To be able to land one of the many compliance jobs London has to offer, applicants need excellent communication skills. Compliance officers need to be able to effectively communicate the importance of following regulations to management and employees. This helps ensure regulations are followed properly by all workers.

Compliance Officer Salary in the UK

The average salary varies depending on the role and industry. For example, compliance officers working in the banking industry have a higher income than officers working in charities.

Based on the latest records, the average annual salary of compliance officers is approximately £34,135. Those who are starting out and have junior compliance jobs in London are likely to have a lower than average salary — usually falls within the range of £18,000 to £35,000. As compliance officers move up the ranks, however, their annual income increases.

For instance, a compliance manager will likely have a salary that’s twice the junior officers’ income, which typically ranges from £30,000 to £75,000. Senior managers have significantly higher salaries because of the level of responsibility they have in the company. They can earn more than £100,000 per year.

Aside from permanent jobs, compliance contract jobs in London are also promising. Compliance professionals with at least two years of experience can earn at least £200 a day.

Job Outlook

Companies are giving more attention to compliance compared to previous years. Their desire to build compliance teams will provide several career opportunities for professionals in this field.

Compliance analyst jobs in London and throughout the UK will continue to be in demand in the next few years. Although competition is also increasing, a lot of opportunities are available as the need for compliance in various industries is increasing.

When applying as a compliance professional, the top industries to consider are banking, insurance, investments, and regulators.

FAQ

Companies are paying attention to compliance now more than ever. They see how costly the lawsuits and penalties can be because of non-compliance to regulations. For this reason, almost all organisations are scrambling to hire and fill in the roles with highly competent compliance officers. The inclination for creating a compliance team is creating a massive demand across the UK.

A career in compliance can be promising because of the enormous demand. Also, most roles don’t require candidates to hold a specific degree to qualify. Apart from that, advancements from entry-level roles to junior and senior officer roles are relatively fast — promotion is offered after two to four years of working in an entry-level position. There are also opportunities for growth in terms of learning since regulations constantly evolve.

The qualifications for compliance jobs usually depend on the industry where the company belongs. Companies rarely require candidates to have a degree in a specific field. However, employers may prefer applicants with commercial and law degrees. Apart from education, having relevant work experience will also give you an advantage over other applicants.

Applicants without experience can still land entry-level jobs. However, because the competition for compliance roles is tight, any additional credentials can give you an advantage. If you don’t want to simply start in part-time compliance jobs in London, you can enrol and earn a certificate in online learning platforms or from local and internal agencies.

For example, earning the advanced certificate for compliance from the International Compliance Association will give you an edge over the competition.

People often look at the roles in compliance as a stressful career. The reason for this is the immense pressure an officer experiences because of the accountability it entails. Compliance officers need to ensure that the organisation is compliant with regulations to minimise costs and avoid lawsuits. To accomplish this, they need to examine all details of local and international law.

That being said, if you have an inclination for following and implementing rules, compliance jobs in London just might be a fruitful endeavour for you.