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Strict enforcement of anti-money laundering (AML), sanctions/terrorist funding (STF) and anti-bribery and corruption (AB&C) regulations is expected to continue, with a particular emphasis on systems and controls.

The increase in new jobs since mid-2013 has created a shortage of candidates and the major financial institutions remain engaged in a war for talent. This is a problem which is expected to continue into 2016 as institutions look to meet regulatory demands and attempt to reduce costs associated with a reliance on external consultancy.

Financial Crime Compliance (FCC) investment will continue to be driven by regulatory action, in particular, industry-wide improvements required under the EU’s new money laundering directives. Terrorist actions, higher geopolitical instability and US-driven proposals of stricter AML and sanctions-monitoring standards can all have a direct effect on FCC recruitment.

Demand for FCC experts within the UK remains high; the most acute shortages lie within financial crime monitoring and testing, risk assessment and governance. These skills are in short supply and not readily available within other financial institutions; therefore, a flexible hiring policy has been introduced to recruit professionals with relevant skills from a non-FCC background. These may include compliance-focused auditors, or regulatory compliance specialists with methodical reviewing and testing skills.

2015 was also an eventful year for AB&C, culminating in the first UK-deferred prosecution agreement (DPA), with several similarly themed investigations due to conclude in 2016. This may be a driving factor for recruitment in the coming year.

We predict 2016 will see continued high rates of attrition with potential salary uplifts in excess of 20%. Those with either deep subject matter expertise or strong functional ability in reviews, testing and risk assessment, will be in a much stronger position to negotiate the highest uplifts.