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"Compliance jobs in banks pay decently and fairly. They are also meaningful"

I am the chief compliance officer at a major bank in Asia and I object to the recent article saying that compliance jobs are some of the worst in banking! 

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Maybe I'm lucky, but I've been blessed to spend my career at good organizations where there's a strong compliance culture. At the banks I've worked for, compliance has a seat at the table and our views are highly regarded. 


When you work in compliance, it's your job to help keep the bank safe. It is also your job to be the voice of reason, whenever necessary, to ensure that our customers’ interests are well protected.  I have never felt pressured or compromised to back down if and when there is inappropriate conduct or questionable decisions.  My team knows I will back them should they ever find themselves in that position too.

Being a compliance officer might not make you a millionaire or a billionaire. If money is your primary goal in life, a compliance job is not for you. However, a compliance job does pay decently and fairly. More importantly, it is a meaningful job.  This is why compliance officers stay in their jobs and chosen career paths.

Personally, I feel passionately about compliance! Yes, I am one of the former lawyers criticized for mediocrity in the previous article, but I feel anything but mediocre! The best compliance officers are true partners for the business. We don't just tell the business that they can or can't do something. Our role is to tell them how they can achieve their desired outcomes in an acceptable way. 

To be able to do this, a good compliance officer needs technical skills. They need to understand the business, to understand the risks involved and to understand how to solve the problems the business throws up. They also need to be able to explain regulatory restrictions, to influence traders and to get buy-in from stakeholders. 

This all takes maturity, courage and conviction and empathy.  Yes, traders earn more than compliance officers. But you do not throw your payslip at someone to get them to take your advice. You get them to take your advice because they know what you say makes sense, and they appreciate you are helping them.

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AUTHORJens Titaley Insider Comment
  • Jo
    20 May 2024

    Well, There's always 1 in every crowd ! I'm truly happy for you, but the previous article represents the vast majority (in my humble opinion) Compliance are the slaves to the business, Regulators, internal legal and other control functions. Expected to have all the answers, take the risk (literally), and get no reward. Why Would You !!

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