Spies like us

I was reminded this week just how diverse the range of careers in finance can be when I conducted a mock interview for a Communications Monitoring Analyst within the Communications Surveillance Department of a very well know bank.

Yes, they were recruiting their own spies – people who would monitor emails, phone calls, Bloomberg terminal messages etc. in order to ensure that there was no market abuse, such as insider trading, and then conduct investigations into suspicious activity. These investigations could then of course lead to hearings, disciplinary actions, even prosecution.

Of course they have these departments – how else could they ensure that they are complying with lots of the regulations out there – but I think it’s a really interesting staffing problem.  Do  potential spies know about these jobs? Do they want to do these jobs in the City? What are the career paths they can follow? and so on.

These issues are present in all the non-core operations of any industry – IT, HR, Finance, Procurement, Administration, etc. and that’s why it’s these types of vacancy that always seem to still be advertising after the core jobs closing dates have passed, or firms choose to avoid the issue by outsourcing the problem function to specialist organisations.

The Gateway newspaper has an article focusing on some of these (http://thegatewayonline.com/articles/applications/3-teams-centre-investment-bank) but I do wonder just how meaningful some of the phrases used will be to their readers (e.g. ‘we support the revenue-generating parts of the business by providing an operational and control infrastructure’, or ‘we’re also a commercial partner working with and providing support to the business to service our clients’).

Hiding behind management speak & jargon sounds like obfuscation to me – tell us plainly & simply what the job is so that people can work out whether they really want to do it or not.


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