What does a career in financial crime prevention involve?

Written by Pekka Dare on Thursday January 31, 2013

The range of threats facing organisations means there are a multitude of career option in financial crime prevention. From anti-bribery and corruption specialists, to fraud analysts and cyber security experts there are a variety of challenging and rewarding roles out there. The roles on offer are very diverse but all require a combination of technical knowledge, understanding of business processes, products and services and the key vulnerabilities targeted by financial criminals.

Financial Crime roles can generally be broken down into three broad areas. In some roles and organisations these areas are amalgamated into one position (particularly in small to medium sized organisations).

Policy Roles

lockOften involve setting high level policies and procedures and undertaking risk assessments. In larger organisations these roles often sit at group level (often referred to as the ‘Second Line of Defence’ in organisations using the ‘Three Lines of Defence’ model.) There roles will often involve engaging with senior management, regulators and the delivery of training and awareness. These roles may also involve a “radar function” ensuring legal and regulatory developments are tracked effectively.

Analyst/ Operational Roles
Typically involve reviewing caseloads of potential fraud, bribery and corruption due diligence reports or suspicious market conduct. These roles will generally also require an understanding of the relevant products and services, legislation, IT systems (including the use of automated financial crime detection tools such as Hunter, SIRA, World Check, and CIFAS).

Investigator Roles
Often involve more complex caseloads, e.g. investigating significant internal fraud or misconduct, or large scale fraud attacks involving organised criminal groups. These roles will involve an understanding of the relevant laws, techniques and procedures in investigation of significant issues involving internal fraud or misconduct. Liaison with law enforcement and key internal stakeholders such as HR will also be a key aspect of these roles.

What do employers look for?

peopleEmployers want to see a combination of appropriate experience, qualifications and commercial know how. A key focus will be the level of exposure potential employees have had to using systems to manage financial crime risk and their awareness of the red flags and vulnerabilities within organisations. To improve your prospects focus on these areas to develop your CV:

Seek exposure to practical issues within organisations: 
Develop an awareness of policies, procedures and case management tools within organisations. Even short term placements or contracts will help in developing this experience. Understand the vulnerabilities, products and services relevant to the sector in which you are seeking a role.

Obtain credible qualifications:  
ICA is the leading training provider in this area. What employers look for is a recognised, certificated qualification that they can benchmark. Having relevant certified qualifications will definitely improve your prospects. In the often cold calculations used to determine the quality of job applicants, this may be the difference between you and those competing for the role. For more information on ICA qualifications in financial crime prevention visit /training/financial-crime/

Develop a deeper understanding of the latest thinking on financial crime prevention.
 Benchmark the latest good practice in terms of profiling criminals, systems and controls and automated systems. Showing you are a forward looking individual and are aware that this is a constantly evolving discipline will impress employers.
So good luck and feel free to contact the team at ICT to discuss the courses we offer and the industry in general. We look forward to helping you progress in one of the most interesting and rewarding specialisms available.


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