Hiring of anti-money laundering staffers by banks in the United Kingdom skyrocketed last year, growing by 54 percent, according to a recent survey.
London-based recruitment firm BrightPool reported the jump, with 2,157 new anti-money laundering jobs created in the U.K. in the past year, according to reports this week in Recruitment International and the Financial Times. Those jobs range from case handlers reviewing items flagged by automated AML systems to operational managers overseeing quality control, Recruitment International reported.
BrightPool found a corresponding jump in wages of 17 percent for AML contractors, with some banks hiring as many as 100 contractors at a time. Those contractors can earn as much as £1,500 a day, BrightPool found. The firm also reported a 27 percent increase in demand for AML specialists who can speak multiple languages.
BrightPool linked the hiring surge to increased scrutiny and pressure on the retail banks from regulators, especially the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority. It pointed to the authority’s £7.6 million fine levied against the U.K. branch of South Africa-based Standard Bank for AML lapses in January, and other enforcement actions. Just this week, Standard Chartered Bank was hit for $300 million by U.S. regulators for failing to remediate AML compliance deficiencies.
BrightPool, which specializes in recruiting for the financial services sector, told Recruitment International another reason for the hiring bump was the banks’ need to overhaul automated AML systems and manually handle the high volume of cases flagged by the automated systems.
“Anti-money laundering teams at banks in the U.K. are growing rapidly as the banks undertake systematic reviews of how they check for money laundering,” Angela Hickmore, managing director of BrightPool, was quoted as saying in Recruitment International. “The current regulatory scrutiny means that it’s a particular area of focus at the moment with the banks putting in significant resources to bring their AML processes up to scratch. Regulators in the U.K. and around the world have already shown that they are willing to take a stick to those banks that fail in this area, so banks need to take this extremely seriously.”
The AML teams can consist of compliance officers, analysts, IT architects, and investigators, Recruitment International said.