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The changing landscape of Singapore compliance recruitment (and why it’s still the place to be)

The market is…competitive

The market is still very competitive – arguably back to pre-2015 levels where we saw a period of hyperinflation. This led to a surge of recruiters flooding the market but they have since fallen away. Only those like us, who truly know the market were able to anticipate the changes in it and remain. How many of the recruiters that you were speaking to at the beginning of your compliance career are still working in this area? Fewer calls shouldn’t be confused with fewer jobs.

The market is…changing

The roles in compliance are no longer Business as Usual. In a drive for a safer banking system, focus is now on prevention and not the cure. Roles seem to be becoming hybrids of Technology, Data and Advisory – all areas that can aid predicting and solving issues before they cause any damage.

Consulting businesses seem to be doing less work on remediation projects such as KYC, PEP, EDD and CDD and we are seeing a big uptick in internal investigations and policy driven work. We must remain mindful that this can all change very quickly with the identification of a lenient compliance process or even a large fine.

We are in the maturing stages of the compliance recruitment cycle but it doesn’t mean that there is less hiring, it just means that certain (or indeed new) skills are more in demand.

The market is…strong

Singapore is an important financial hub and being compliant is crucial to this. Recent events with the Prime Minister in Malaysia have shown how detrimental economic scandals can be and how important it is to operate a banking environment people can trust. This keeps compliance as one of the key pillars in the financial services sector which is at the heart of Singapore’s thriving economy. This makes it highly unlikely that the most important and senior roles in compliance will ever leave its shores.

In today’s world of work, all areas of business have become even more competitive, however compliance in Singapore offers the best chance of career advancement. A large number of candidates we have worked with have received promotions within 12 months of joining their prospective companies. Good compliance people are always in demand and never without a job for long.

The market…should be understood

A good compliance person needs to stay ahead of the game by keeping on top of the changes in the market. Technological advancement and process change are as important as the regulation itself.

Compliance in Singapore has a wider scope in certain areas so it’s important to be in the right crowd; Private Banking Compliance, FICC Compliance and the growing Buy Side and AM sectors as South East Asia continues its economic miracle.

Reading consultation papers and keeping abreast of financial news are key but recruiters are also an excellent source of information. I have a great insight into the market and would be very happy to keep you up to date. I can be reached on +65 6233 6871 or