Recruitment Themes and Predictions for 2018 - Retail Finance and Insurance

  • June 14, 2018

We consider some of the trends we're seeing in the recruitment of risk, compliance and regulatory change professionals across Retail Financial Services.


FourthLine work with clients across the insurance, banking and wider lending sectors, connecting them with the expert talent within our extensive network of expert talent.

What types of skills are in demand?

Across Retail Financial Services we see a consistent need for policy, advisory, monitoring and generalist compliance experience, which is usually the result of growth or the natural turnover of staff.

As a rule, our smaller clients tend to favour candidates with more generalist experience so that they’re able to cover more areas. More recently we are seeing a lot of firms strengthening their back office infrastructure based on ever increasing regulatory scrutiny and consequently they’re in a position to invest in more specialist skills such as policy experts.

As always, compliance needs to work with businesses and not against them so our clients are always asking us for candidates with good examples of working with stakeholders at all levels. This includes good influencing skills, an understanding of technical areas, and ensuring products have informed conversations at the right level.

In terms of new skills, we’re seeing a very close link between Brexit and the need for candidates with policy or documentation review skills. Any changes that come in because of Brexit will mean a need to review an entire suite of policies. We are also seeing an increased demand for European language skills as a result of Brexit, as well as a desire for experience or knowledge of European regulation.

Finally, in cases where smaller companies don’t have the budget or need for a Data Protection Officer, we are seeing a need for compliance professionals to upskill or develop broader expertise around data protection.

What types of experts are in hire demand?

We are seeing demand for the following types of experts:

  • Separation/authorisation experts – the UK appears to be an appealing place to domicile a financial services business, but it does come with risks. Businesses who need to alter their permissions or apply for a full PRA license will be in need of authorisation specialists.
  • Culture and Conduct experts – this year will see the FCA drive culture and conduct more than ever, so there will be a greater need for leaders to embed a strong conduct culture. We predict that firms will invest more heavily in training and competence at a senior level to help define and embed culture throughout their businesses.
  • Technology – firms are embracing new technology across all of their operations, so candidates with experience of different technology platforms will be in high demand, as will those who are open to embracing new ways of working.

What is driving change within Retail Finance and Insurance?

There are several elements driving change across Retail Financial Services, from Brexit (which is driving change across the whole of the Financial Services environment) to regulations such as SMCR encouraging increased accountability and the 5th Money Laundering Directive. As mentioned above, new technologies are also a driving force of change.

Another cause of change is the FCA increasing their efforts in relation to enforcement. The regulator also plans to look more closely at other culture and governance challenges, including remuneration, culture, and conflict of interest issues. Will firms need to reassess how they incentivise their 1st line of defence?

What are FourthLine’s predictions for the rest of 2018?

We expect to see salary increases across Retail Financial Services, as firms are working harder to ensure they retain their staff. Firms don’t want to lose the top talent or need to go through the difficult process of recruitment, and we’re seeing more counter offers than ever before.

Saying that however, some firms are totally out of sync with the market when hiring new staff, especially when it comes to positions that they haven’t hired for before. If this doesn’t change, they are going to miss out on the best talent.

The industry wide roll out of SMCR and increased accountability from a personal perspective will also drive salary increases.

More generally, the market stays busy throughout the summer and into the final quarter of the year. We anticipate permanent regulatory compliance hires to remain stable, whilst we expect to see an increase in the need for interim regulatory specialists to provide support with regulatory change agendas, especially SMCR.

If you’d like to find out more about any of the above points or discuss how FourthLine can assist with your resourcing requirements, get in touch with our Retail Conduct team on 0203 800 1566.



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