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The Compliance Market in Europe

Posted on July 2024

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As businesses navigate new regulations and face growing scrutiny, the need for professionals who can ensure compliance and safeguard against fraud and money laundering is high. And the demand for skilled professionals is only expected to grow, as governments and regulatory bodies are introducing more stringent regulations.

In a talent short market, companies are faced with the challenge of attracting and retaining compliance professionals with the right knowledge and skillsets. To do so, they need to adapt their recruitment strategies to match candidate requirements.

One of the trending topics among compliance professionals is mobility.Enhanced quality of life, better career progression, and a higher salary tempt professionals to look beyond their current location when it comes to making the next step in their career. And Europe offers a variety of career opportunities for compliance professionals.

James Gloster-Burke, Associate Director, Head of Middle Office at Selby Jennings remarks,"In facing a global scarcity of workers and increased competition, it's imperative for companies and countries to offer compelling opportunities that enhance quality of life and job satisfaction, aligning with the evolving needs of the global workforce."

A European Market Overview

Germany is the highest-ranked non-English speaking nation that professionals are interested in working in. Within Europe, London is the leading city when it comes to career opportunities within compliance, followed closely by Amsterdam (discover our relocation guide for the Netherlands) and Dubai (discover our Dubai relocation guide) in the Middle East.

Here are some of the biggest hiring trends and demands across the European continent, broken down by country:

United Kingdom

London’s financial sector is dealing with increased scrutiny from the FCA, particularly in areas such as consumer protection, driving demand for compliance professionals, especially as regulations tighten for emerging sectors like crypto, fintech, and payments.


A significant regulatory push from BaFin in Germany has resulted in heightened scrutiny on banks and market entrants, and an increase in demand for compliance professionals. Evolving legislation such as the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) and Minimum Risk Requirement (MaRisk) are creating roles in the German market.

Senior-level anti-money laundering (AML) experience is highly sought after - Frankfurt's new status as the EU’s AMLA (Anti-Money Laundering Authority) hub, will potentially lead to a stronger talent pool in Frankfurt and attract German speakers internationally.


Several American and British investment banks have expanded their trading operations amidst compliance challenges. The discrepancy between broad French compliance roles and specialized profiles favoured by foreign banks has posed adaptation challenges as well.


AML and financial crime remain a persistent challenge in Luxembourg, intensified by regulatory emphasis on designated compliance roles. Salaries in this domain have risen, reflecting the shortage of qualified professionals. The focus on compliance extends to insurance, with companies bridging regulatory gaps akin to those in banking.

Amsterdam continues to attract financial firms seeking European licenses, with high-frequency trading and asset management witnessing growth. The looming Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) has spurred demand for compliance officers with IT expertise, amid concerns about the legislation’s implications. Regulatory scrutiny on financial crime and sanctions persists, with relocation emerging as a viable option for candidates. Expertise and experience with funds are particularly sought after, reflecting the importance of navigating legislation and obtaining licenses for launching institutions.

Middle East

The Middle East has become an area of interest, with buy side clients launching operations and seeking licenses, potentially becoming a relocation hub in the future. The path forward for hiring managers is one of adaptability. They need to be open to candidates from other EU countries due to talent shortages.

Compliance Salary Guide

Keen to get a better understanding of the salary structure in compliance in the European market?

The Selby Jennings Compliance Salary Guide assists professionals and hiring managers in understanding current compensation structures for compliance roles across Europe, covering:

  • Corporate & investment banking

  • Investment management

  • Retail banking & insurance


Looking For A New Opportunity?

Dive deeper into potential opportunities by sending us your CV and taking a closer look at our roles currently available. At Selby Jennings, we recognize that your career path is unique, and we're dedicated to helping you find the perfect fit.


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