stack of poundsNew layers of regulation are forcing banks and other top financial institutions to raise salaries for specialist professionals in the UK, a new survey reveals, despite pressure to cut costs.

According to the Robert Walters Salary Survey, professionals across regulatory reporting, product control and internal audit sectors have been securing double digit pay rises in return for accepting a new job.

Many banks are also offering a range of non-financial incentives to retain other sought-after staff – most notably newly qualified accountants - including flexible working hours and improved work-life balance.

With an increasing number of institutions relocating away from London to cut costs, demand for regulatory specialists is also exacerbating talent shortages in the regions, particularly for managers and leaders with strong strategic management skills.

“Although muted salary growth remains the norm for most banking professionals, the weight of regulatory scrutiny means that experienced specialists are still able to command significant rises,” said Peter Milne, Director of Banking & Financial Services Recruitment at Robert Walters (

“Greater competition for the best candidates is also contributing to a number of other trends, including steeper contractor day rates and an increased level of hiring from regulatory bodies.

“While competitive remuneration is important, so too is cutting down on delays between interviewing and making an offer – many regulatory professionals are receiving multiple offers, so any delays put hiring managers at risk of missing out on preferred candidates.