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Compliance Officer

Compliance Officers are employed throughout the financial services industry in banks, mutual fund companies and investment dealers. Specific duties depend on the industry sector, but this job universally rewards those with an eye for detail, a thorough understanding of industry conduct and practices, and a knack for explaining policies and procedures to other employees.

A Compliance Officer generally deals with any day-to-day compliance issues that arise during financial transactions, trading, or the handling of client accounts. This officer must ensure the firm and its employees understand and abide by internal and regulatory procedures.

On the job with a Compliance Manager

There are many different compliance functions or roles because of the different lines of business within the financial services industry - each requiring a slightly different focus and knowledge base. Ideally, individuals looking for an entry-level position should have ...Learn more

Compliance Manager, FCSI, CFP, FMA, Sun Life Financial
  • Investigate and develop internal control systems.
  • Conduct internal audits.
  • Prepare periodic financial reports required by regulatory bodies.

Most Compliance Officers hold a university or college degree and start in a junior role within an organization's compliance department.

Each financial sector has its own specialized courses that must be completed to progress to this position, but one common prerequisite is CSI's Canadian Securities Course (CSC), which provides a comprehensive overview of the financial services industry.

Compliance positions in branches of banks, investment dealers and mutual fund companies generally require completion of a Branch Managers Course (BMC). Those in head office may require completion of a Partners, Directors and Senior Officers Qualifying Examination (PDO). The Chief Financial Officers role requires the completion of the Chief Financial Officer’s Course (CFO) and the role of Chief Compliance Officer requires the completion of the Chief Compliance Officers Qualifying Examination (CCO).

Entry-level salaries in a compliance department may range from $30,000 to $40,000. Senior Compliance Officers can earn salaries in the $50,000 to $100,000 range, plus a bonus based on their employer's overall performance, while Chief Compliance and Chief Financial Officers can earn well over $150,000. All jobs would be eligible to earn a yearly bonus based both on their own performance as well as their employer's overall performance.