Average compliance manager salaries in the UK - 2022

Salary by region

Explore the average compliance manager salary in the UK by location:

  • London: £89,988
  • Scotland: £77,468
  • Yorkshire and the Humber: £75,120
  • Wales: £72,773

Job prospects for compliance managers

The compliance and regulatory landscape has become increasingly complex and far-reaching since the 2008 financial crash; a trend which remains unchanged and set to continue into the future. No longer just a position brought in to ‘tick a box’, compliance has grown to become a central part of the day to day functioning of the majority of firms.

Regulatory and reporting standards remain high, leading employers to turn their attention to finding the resource needed to remain compliant. Recent examples of this in financial services are the introduction of the fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD), MiFID II, and SMCR. Compliance Managers continue to take the lead in ensuring these new regulations are implemented across the organisation, and the necessary monitoring processes set up to counter any associated risks. Employers are thus offering roles to compliance managers who can show an excellent working knowledge of key legislation and regulations.

Many smaller firms are now looking to bring talent in-house to reduce the spend on costly outsourcing, and further help keep processes and policies in check. GDPR has also helped to increase hiring into compliance roles as businesses across the UK look to improve and monitor their data protection frameworks in the wake of the regulation’s introduction.

Aside from regulatory knowledge, to increase offers of employment, professionals can make a specific effort to familiarise themselves with the latest monitoring systems and tools for compliance, KYC, AML, and Market Abuse. Although prospects for this role are good in general, professionals can increase their demand by opting for a compliance manager jobs in London, Bristol or Birmingham, where the demand is highest.

A large number of job opportunities can still be found in the temporary or contract positions—employers typically bring in more compliance roles to help with the implementation of new regulations or reporting standards. Compliance professionals with niche expertise can find good contract and interim opportunities as they guide businesses towards best practice compliance. 

Compliance manager salary opportunities

For a professional who is new to the role of a compliance manager, the average starting salary is £70,500. Once more experience is gained, a mid-level salary of £78,250 can be expected. The higher-level pay scale for a compliance manager is £95,750—a salary which is reserved for more experienced professionals with deeper knowledge. 

Regionally, the best average salaries are in the East of England (£77,468), Scotland (£77,468) and London (£89,988). Compliance manager salaries in London are notably higher due to the large financial services sector, where hiring remains constant.

Employers are currently looking for professionals with advanced KYC and AML knowledge and may be willing to increase the salary offering for an experienced professional with these skills. Other valuable skills include resilience and the ability to adapt to change.

Salaries have increased significantly for positions which fall under the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR), due to the high level of responsibility it entails. An SMCR related position (SMF16 or SMF17) can help enhance earning opportunities. 

Due to the importance of compliance roles and the risk involved, many professionals can expect to receive competitive performance-related bonuses as part of their remuneration package.

To access further salary projections and key recruitment trends affecting your sector download the Robert Half Salary Guide.