The last year was a very busy year for risk, compliance and audit professionals within investment banking. The intense regulatory focus on financial institutions meant that banks continued to recruit into a steady stream of corporate governance positions. Meanwhile the high-profile court trial of former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli kept operational risk, in particular, firmly in the spotlight and gave hiring managers useful ammunition to justify additional headcount in the function.
The fall-out from the much-publicised Libor-fixing and money laundering scandals heightened the profile of operational risk within retail banking. All the major banks suffered issues with their operational risk processes so they are investing in staff to review and improve their risk frameworks. Operational risk is not a function that can be feasibly offshored or nearshored, but restructuring and headcount freezes have resulted in retail banks making more use of contractors than permanent hires.
Operational risk and governance has enjoyed a greater profile within investment management as firms have watched the regulatory scrutiny of banks intensify. They too have taken action to review and enhance their internal polices and controls.