Average compliance manager salaries in the UK - 2021

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

Compliance has been on the rise in recent years — 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 financial service firms.  

Regulatory and reporting standards have risen, leading employers to turn their attention to finding the resource needed to remain compliant. Recent examples of this are the introduction of the fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, MiFID II, Basel III and IFRS 9.

GDPR has also helped to increase hiring into compliance roles as businesses look to restore their competitive advantage in the wake of the regulation’s introduction. Many of them are now looking to bring talent in-house to help keep processes and policies in check.

To increase job offers or employability, professionals can make a specific effort to familiarise themselves with the latest systems and tools for compliance, KYC and AML. Employers are offering roles to compliance managers who can show an excellent working knowledge of key legislation and regulations like SMCR, GDPR and MiFID II.

Although prospects for this role are good in general, professionals can increase their demand by opting for a compliance manager job in London, Bristol or Birmingham, where the demand is highest.

Job opportunities can also 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 £79,500. Once more experience is gained, a mid-level salary of £87,000 can be expected. The top of the pay scale for a compliance manager is £123,250—a salary which is reserved for incredibly experienced professionals with deep knowledge. 

Regionally, the best average salaries are in the East of England (£86,100), the South East (£91,400), Scotland (£86,100) and London (£112,200). Compliance manager salaries in London are particularly good due to the robust banking and insurance sector, which is increasing hiring.

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 Regime (SMR), due to the personal liability it entails. An updated SMR certification can help enhance earning opportunities. 

Due to the importance of compliance roles and the risk involved, many professionals can expect to receive 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.