Salary survey: Compliance officers command good salaries

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Salaries of compliance officers in banks have held up well this year, with growing demand for money-laundering experts and staff with legal training, according to a survey by Robert Walters, the recruitment firm.

Chris Hickey, manager of compliance recruitment, says the need for money-laundering specialists was prompted by a tighter regulatory environment being introduced by the Financial Services Authority on December 1.

'They are becoming established as a distinct class of compliance officer,' he says.

But demand for compliance officers in mergers and acquisitions work and equities has declined because of the economic downturn, Hickey says. This had pushed down salaries in some cases.

The survey shows that at upper levels, salaries in London in August remained stable or rose compared with March. Those at the lower end fell.

Hickey says banks were also hiring teams of contract workers for compliance work related to FSA regulations as the December 1 deadline approached.

For all roles, there was an increasing demand for legal knowledge as the work became more sophisticated.