Jobs Explained: Compliance Officer

16 April 2021

Compliance Officer

What is a Compliance Officer? How much do Compliance Officers earn? How do you get your first job as a Compliance Officer and what’s the long term career potential? In this jobs explained profile we explore everything you need to know about Compliance Officer jobs...

What is a Compliance Officer?

In the Fintech and payments industry a Compliance Officer makes sure that a company is following all the external rules and regulations imposed by the regulatory authority.

What does a Compliance Officer do in the Fintech and payments industry?

Compliance Officers construct scalable compliance management systems for supervision of Payment Processing functions.  Tasks consist of monitoring, governance, administration and regulatory reporting activities associated with the payment processing processes, and systems.  Officers may collaborate closely with Audit, Marketing, Product Development, Legal, Risk, Finance, and Operations departments.

Some Compliance Officers work as consultants who are brought in to review a particular organization's practices, and some work for regulators tasked with compliance enforcement.

Pros and Cons of working as a Compliance Officer



  • Great for those who want to help Fintech & payments progress in a fair, safe manner.

  • Make a difference in terms of customer safety and criminal activities.

  • You can help ensure a company starts as it means to go on.

  • Great for organisers.

  • Lucrative salary.

  • Career progressions in line with experience.

  • Very in demand position.

  • Constant learning opportunities.

  • Good communication with regulators.

  • Roles are becoming more specialised.

  • A lot of responsibility and liability without being a key decision maker.

  • Can be difficult to motivate employees to complete training.

  • May have to fight a lax company culture.

  • Can be hard to keep abreast of what people are doing if remote working.

How much does a Compliance Officer make?

  • Compliance Officer/Analyst - £35,000 - £45,000

  • Compliance Manager - £60,000 - £70,000

  • Senior Compliance Manager - £75,000 - £85,000

  • Head of Compliance - £100,000 - £130,000

What are a Compliance Officers job duties?

The duties of a Compliance officer encompass but are not limited to:

  • Participating in the ongoing review of compliance manuals, policies and procedures in line with the regulatory or other requirements.

  • Reviewing and maintaining compliance records, company retention documents, employee training programmes and compliance registers.

  • Providing regulatory guidance for complaints handlings and assisting with FOS cases and other escalated matters.

  • Managing due diligence processes for new and existing clients under the supervision of a Head of Compliance, including KYC documentation reviews,  EP/Sanctions Screening, EDD requirements such as source of funds/wealth.

  • Providing assistance and guidance on ongoing transaction monitoring and any actions required based on the alerts and results of the monitoring.

  • Participating in delivering effective compliance and financial crime monitoring programmes and delivering appropriate management information.

  • Contributing to preparation and submission of regulatory returns and reports to the regulator (FCA) and/or other authorities.

  • Providing assistance as required with managing and oversight of programme managers, clients, compliance reports to identify and address any concerns in terms of risk and compliance.

  • Providing support to the business with any compliance or regulatory queries on a daily basis.

  • Take responsibility for financial promotions and social media reviews and website compliance.

  • Reviewing updates from FCA, JMLSG, HMRC, ESMA, FATF and other relevant bodies.

  • Assisting with audit requests and risk assessments.

  • Receiving internal reports, reviewing and reporting any suspicious activity or transaction to the National Crime Agency (NCA) and/or any appropriate governmental agencies.

What qualifications/skills does a Compliance Officer need?

  • Business/finance related degree beneficial but not essential.

  • Experience with payment processing systems and services, such as VISA, Mastercard etc.

  • International Compliance Association certificate in compliance advantageous.

  • Strong customer service experience, particularly in finance.

  • Robust knowledge of compliance regulation.

  • Critical problem-solving ability.

  • Ability to analyse and interpret information quickly.

  • Proactivity and passion for the job.

How do I get a job as a Compliance Officer?

Compliance is a rapidly growing sector in Fintech & payments, in sync with the growth of the industry itself. Increasing regulatory scrutiny is keeping the pressure on to recruit new talent to keep up with requirements. The industry currently suffers from a talent shortage making now a very lucrative time to get involved with this career path. A strong background in customer service experience or KYC, a desire to learn and good attitude will get you started in your compliance journey. You will find Compliance Officer jobs advertised online, including entry, junior and senior positions. Be sure to include all relevant qualifications and experience when writing your CV - and don’t forget to send us a copy too, as we often have exclusive and unadvertised Compliance Officer jobs.