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​92% of Fin Crime professionals are unhappy with current salary

We asked our network of Financial Crime professionals about their salary and remuneration in the midst of the cost-of-living crisis:
  • A staggering 92% of financial crime professionals are unhappy with their current salary
  • 79% of people will apply for new jobs next year if their employers fail to support them
  • Only 9% or employees have received a salary increase to help with mounting bills

As we approach the festive period and reflect on the year to date, we were keen to gauge the mood of the Financial Crime professionals in our network around current market uncertainties and their career plans going into 2023.

After all, it’s hardly breaking news that people are feeling worried about their personal financial stability as a result of the current economic climate, rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.

We’re also aware that many people are turning to their employers for reassurance at this time and to help ease these pain points with the promise of salary increases, bonuses and benefits.

Unfortunately, not every business is in a position to provide such support.

This all meant that we had a couple of pressing questions we wanted to post to our almost 30,000 strong LinkedIn community to gather their sentiments around these issues.

We asked:

Are you looking for a higher salary because of inflation and the economic climate?

Over two-thirds (68%) of respondents said yes, almost one-quarter (24%) were looking for a higher salary but for other reasons, and only 8% were content with their current salary.

What will you do if your employer cannot offer you the financial support you need, or will your employer increase your salary?

The results were resounding, with the startling majority (79%) saying they would start applying for new jobs. Just 9% of people reported that they had received a salary increase, while a mere 6% said they were open to other benefits in place of a salary increase.

Speaking about the results, Principal Financial Crime Consultant Pritesh Chudasama said:

“Our research reveals how important it is for employers to be aware that their staff will start looking for new roles and career opportunities if they fail to proactively support them during these hard times. Employers should take steps to mitigate the risks of people leaving, especially valuable talent at a time when other job opportunities are in abundance.

“If this does happen, it will have a knock-on effect when it comes to the overall recruitment landscape. Jobs will open up unexpectedly as a result of mass attrition, meaning that 2023 should prove to be a buoyant year for the financial crime space.”

Andy Hodson, Managing Consultant for AML, Financial Crime & Fraud, added,

“In light of the findings and as Pritesh has alluded to, we anticipate 2023 will see a continuation of the market activity we’ve seen this year. Our research demonstrates that candidates will be looking to secure roles where they feel valued and adequately remunerated, so companies will need to respond to this in order to remain competitive.

“As well as this, we expect the already highly competitive hiring landscape to escalate further due to the widely predicted increase in fraud and financial crime activity the economic conditions are likely to trigger.”

What organisations can do to hold on to talent

It’s important to acknowledge that, just as candidates are feeling the pinch, so too are organisations. If financial incentives and pay rises simply aren’t an option, then there's an increasing need to ensure that employers are retaining staff through other attractive incentives and initiatives during the cost-of-living crisis.

They include:

Offering flexible working to reduce costs

There’s no denying that coming into the office promotes collaboration, culture and morale. However, this can come at a significant price to employees, which is why offering greater flexibility can help to ease the financial burden.

Working remotely cuts commuting costs and means that people can balance their personal and professional lives more equitably. For example, it means that they might be able to do the school run, not have to pay for wraparound childcare and better plan their school holidays without having to save up annual entitlement.

This flexibility can also mean access to more affordable leisure activities and healthcare services during the working week, without having to worry about holiday limits and clocking in on time. All of this costs businesses nothing, saves time, money and stress and leads to more productive and happier team members.

Opting for flexible benefits to reduce outgoings

Amid the current challenges, employers should think more creatively about their benefits packages, meaning they’ll stand out from their competitors.

Any benefits that can help to reduce the cost of monthly outgoings, such as discounts on shopping, entertainment subscriptions, utilities, travel and leisure will help people to rein in their spending as the bills mount up.

Helping with bigger costs to reduce short-term debt

Many employers are considering offering workplace loans as a more sustainable option for employees needing to make large purchases, particularly in times of crisis such as home repairs, emergency travel, or medical care. This can be a much more pocket-friendly option than using credit cards, high-interest loans or ‘buy now pay later’ options on large purchases.

Going one step further, they could even offer a hardship fund that employees can access when required, without the need to repay it. This could be used to help with rent payments or rental deposits, legal fees, purchasing essential items or getting out of debt.

Providing savings assistance

Payroll savings products - including ‘opt out’ savings plans - can be an effective way of supporting financial wellbeing by helping employees build savings with minimal effort. If an employer isn’t in a position to easily implement a formal savings scheme, they can motivate, and potentially even reward, employees for working towards their personal savings goals.

Creating a savings community can be a really powerful way for employees to work together to encourage and motivate each other to save. Some companies even offer to contribute a percentage of the amount that they save as an additional motivator.

Promoting healthy money habits

Financial insecurity can lead to people suffering with their mental health which is why it can be a great initiative for employers can help people to take better control of their finances. Options include bringing in experts from a pension provider to host training sessions on financial planning and money management, including planning for the future and for a financial crisis.

A simple initiative such as a weekly newsletter highlighting money-saving deals, savings and budgeting tips or sharing resources and articles to help with financial wellbeing can make a huge difference to those feeling overwhelmed by their current situation.

The Takeaway

Essentially, there’s no avoiding the fact that the cost-of-living crisis is putting huge amounts of pressure on peoples’ financial wellbeing, and while salary increases are clearly the favoured option, many employers are unable to commit to pay increases for numerous reasons.

Now is the time for organisations to get creative and highlight the ways in which their benefits package can help, if they want to retain skilled employees and stand out in a crowded jobs market.

MERJE Financial Crime & Fraud

Our Financial Crime & Fraud consultants are experts in pairing the likes of MLROs, DMLROs, Heads of Financial Crime, Financial Crime Managers, Financial Crime Officers, AML Analysts, KYC professionals, Fraud Analytics Managers and many more with leading employers throughout the UK across Payments, FinTech, Cryptocurrency, Cards, etc.

Whether you’re looking for the right talent for your business or want to advance your career in this area, please contact our team for a chat:

Andy Hodson -

Jimmy Ibrahimllari –

Pritesh Chudasama -