Japan’s securities-market watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC), has been active in recent months with recommendations to the JFSA for a number of international Investment Banks to face administrative action from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (JFSA).
This has mainly been for breaches in information sharing from research departments.
After the financial crisis, strict regulations were brought in to prevent information sharing within the organization on anything which could impact the market value of securities before that information is made public. It is clear that if that information makes its way into the wrong hands, traders could potential profit knowing the true value of securities before the market does. ‘Chinese Walls’ were set up to prevent the improper sharing of information between different departments within a bank.
At the very least, this has led to business improvement orders from the FSA and in some cases Banks have been hit with hefty fines. The increased scrutiny from the SESC is a direct result of the Japanese Government making corporate governance a key area of their economic revitalization strategy and comes after other economic areas have made similar commitments.
The areas that have been particularly hot are Control Room Compliance and Financial Crime/AML Compliance. When financial services professionals look for new positions in the market, they will notice a disproportionately high number of jobs within compliance. This is in stark contrast to other areas of the banks which have seen some decline. And within compliance, the areas that have been particularly hot are Control Room Compliance and Financial Crime/AML Compliance. The former has seen growth as a direct result of the increased scrutiny on the transfer of information within the bank. Indeed, the job of the Control Room Compliance Officer is to proactively manage this area to ensure robust Chinese Walls are put in place.
An increase in roles within Control Room Compliance has led to a shortage of professional with the requisite experience in this area; An increase in roles within Control Room Compliance has led to a shortage of professional with the requisite experience in this area; control Room Compliance is a relatively immature area of compliance. As such, hiring managers will consider candidates from other areas of compliance or from the business, for example from Research Departments. Candidates just need to show that they have very high levels of integrity, the communication skills to talk to the business and regulators, and an understanding of the different functions that make up an Investment Bank.
If you are interested in a career within Compliance and want some advice or want to talk about specific positions, please feel free to reach out.