Covid-19 increases demand for internal control, risk and compliance specialists in the banking sector


The uncertainty on the labour market caused by the Corona pandemic made organisations very risk aware, particularly in the banking sector.

Focus has been on overseeing new processes and procedures to support the new way of working and to combat possible financial fraud and this will further continue in 2021, according to the Robert Walters Salary Survey that was released just now.


Marie-Astrid Carlier, Associate Director at Robert Walters, shares her expectations about the labour market for financial services professionals in 2021.

Implementing the new way of working

As a reaction to the lockdown earlier this year, some recruitment procedures were put on hold. But thanks to today’s technology, organisations switched quickly to video interviews. Marie-Astrid: “The banking and financial services sector continued to recruit, but we noticed that candidates were sometimes afraid to grab new professional endeavours. In some cases, professionals got cold feet at the end of the recruitment process and turned down the offer at the last minute.”

Because of the uncertainty that the Corona pandemic brings, organisations are very risk aware, and this is particularly the case in the banking sector. Ongoing digitalisation projects will proceed, so there will be a continued demand for specialists to support these innovations.

Organisations will need to adapt to the new way of working and this involves a lot of new internal processes that need to be put in place. To support this, the demand for finance specialists in internal control and risk management will remain high in 2021. In addition, the banking sector is facing some challenges imposed by regulations to combat financial fraud. This will lead to an increase in the demand for compliance, KYC and AML specialists as well.

Increased demand for compliance & risk specialists

The number of recruitments within the banking & financial services sector will not really suffer a lot from the Corona crisis. The demand for internal auditors will remain high, but the main focus will be on recruiting compliance and risk specialists. These professionals will need to oversee new processes and procedures that are put in place to combat eventual financial fraud and support the further digitalisation in the sector.

Listening to employees’ needs

Finding the right talent is never easy, but finding the right specialists in an uncertain period like we experience today, is particularly difficult. “We would therefore recommend organisations to keep their recruitment procedures short and to emphasize that they should offer new hires remote working possibilities and career development opportunities.”

In today’s market, it is important to be clear and honest to employees and offer them a feeling of stability. “People might fear losing their positions, so it is important to listen to their needs and concerns. Putting in place a mental health programme, investing in learning and development opportunities and making them aware of possible internal moves, will help employees feel confident and encourage them to grow within the organisation. It is important to invest today for a better tomorrow.”

Rewarding and recognition

"I believe organisations in the banking and financial services sector will not offer any major salary increases and given the current circumstances, professionals will not expect an increase neither. But there are other ways to reward the working forces. Offering training opportunities and other wellbeing initiatives to support a good work/life balance and trust showing will be highly appreciated.”


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