Demand for risk and compliance workers is surging because of Australia's Banking Royal Commission

The Big Short/ IMDb
  • Job advertisements for risk and compliance workers in Australia have surged by 48% over the past year, according to new data from Seek.
  • The sharp acceleration in advertisements likely reflects the impact of Australia’s Banking Royal Commission as well as a lack of skilled candidates to fill openings.
  • Advertisements in other areas of finance are falling. Nationwide, total job ads placed on Seek’s platform have fallen in five of the past seven month.

Even before the final report is delivered in early next year, Australia’s Banking Royal Commission has already left its mark.

Bank share prices have been walloped, falling to the lowest levels since early 2013, while lending standards have been tightened, contributing to a slowdown in housing credit growth as well as falling home prices.

It’s also had an impact on demand for risk and compliance workers in the financial services industry — it’s surged.

According to Seek’s Australian Employment Report for September, the number of job advertisements for risk and compliance workers have jumped by nearly 50% over the past year, continuing the strong growth seen in prior years.

“New Seek data [reveals] that within the Banking and Finance sector, adverts for Compliance and Risk job roles have increased by 122% in the last five years, with a dramatic 48% increase in the last year alone,” said Kendra Banks, Managing Director of Seek Australia and New Zealand.

“Currently 13.5% of Banking and Finance roles on SEEK are in Compliance and Risk.”

As seen in the chart below from Seek, while growth in job advertisements for compliance staff has accelerated sharply since the Banking Royal Commission was first announced, at the same time, those for workers in other parts of the financial services industry have fallen.


“The Banking and Finance sector has slightly increased in jobs by 1% when comparing the three months to October in 2018 to the previous year, resulting in the category having relatively flat employment opportunities compared to the previous months, with falls in Financial Planning and Retail and Branch job advert,” Banks said.

However, while advertisements for risk and compliance workers have surged over the past year, that has not been matched by a similarly-sized increase in candidate searches for these roles.

“There has been a 13% increase over the past 12 months in candidates searching for compliance and risk roles on SEEK,” Banks said. “However, there is still a shortage of candidates to fulfil jobs advertised in areas such as New South Wales, Brisbane and Perth.”

“We anticipate an increase in candidates looking for these types of roles over the next year.”


Banks said the large increase in advertisements for compliance workers likely reflects a lack of candidates with appropriate skills.

“Compliance and risk job roles require an extremely niche skill set which can vary across different industries,” she said.

“Therefore, it can be hard for recruiters to find the right person for the role, or for candidates to even know that these roles exist outside of Finance and Banking institutions.”

For those with appropriate skills or who are contemplating a shift into risk and compliance, Seek said that junior positions over the past year had an average full time salary of $74,142, while the average senior positions stood at $130,776. Across all positions advertised in this niche sector, the average salary was $121,419.

From a broader perspective, Seek said total job advertisements on its platform fell by 0.1% nationwide in September — the fifth decline in the past seven months — trimming growth over the past year 5.5% after seasonal adjustments.

Advertisements on Seek’s platform were growing at an annual pace of 17.1% as recent as April this year.

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