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Demand for risk and compliance specialists to remain high in 2016: Randstad

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Risk and compliance specialists are expected to enjoy a greater increase in average salary compared to their general banking colleagues, according to recruitment firm Randstad.

RISK and compliance specialists are expected to enjoy a greater increase in average salary compared to their general banking colleagues, according to recruitment firm Randstad.

According to its associate director for banking and financial services, Lim Chaileng, demand for risk and compliance experts will remain high next year despite job cuts at global banks. This is because of the growing complexity of Singapore's regulatory environment.

Over the past year, the recruitment agency has seen a 20 per cent increase in the demand for risk and compliance experts. Banks in Singapore have doubled the size of their compliance teams to service the new regulatory environment. They have been recruiting specialists focused on regulation, policy development and assessing and mitigating risk.

"As Singapore takes steps to create a Smart Financial Centre, there will be a raft of new initiatives resulting in increased regulation. At the same time, increased competition is leading to greater consolidation in banking operations and potentially more mergers and acquisitions, so the demand for these professionals is expected to soar,'' Ms Lim explained.

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Across the board, banking and finance industry professionals can expect to see a salary increase of 3 to 5 per cent next year, with the average bonus in the vicinity of two to three months' salary, according to Randstad.

"The operations function, including know your customer (KYC) and on-boarding roles, will see the greatest demand for fresh graduates, while sales relationship managers will be future-proofed in the years to come with the need for customer interface unlikely to disappear any time soon," said Ms Lim.

However, the news is not so good for back office settlements roles, as these jobs are increasingly offshored to countries such as India, the Philippines and Malaysia, or outsourced to a third party.

Technology will continue to play a large role in the changing face of the banking and finance industry in the coming years.

"Traditional banking products and solutions are on the way out, so banks are now looking for digitally savvy candidates with exposure to innovative banking solutions,'' Ms Lim said.

"We expect that over the next one to five years we will see a growing demand for sales people who are comfortable with interacting with clients on digital platforms, risk managers to assess and mitigate risk across technology platforms and innovation drivers to help banks get ahead of the competition," she added.

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