Since the economic crisis of 2008, it’s been no secret that the compliance field is experiencing heavy growth and expansion. Rules and regulations are constantly being created and amended, and finance compliance professionals need to be prepared to tackle these changes. Lately, The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division has been seeing an increase in demand for professionals familiar with bank stress testing, specifically the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) test.
Banks are now working more than ever to ensure they pass this stress test to avoid large fines and federal restrictions on their activities. Specifically, the CCAR test is an annual exercise that determines whether or not an institution has an appropriate capital planning process, in relation to its unique risk factors, to ensure coverage during any unforeseen incidents or financial stress. According to the federal reserve, the CCAR “evaluates institutions’ capital adequacy, internal capital adequacy assessment processes, and their plans to make capital distributions, such as dividend payments or stock repurchases.” Results of the test are public knowledge, so banks that fail risk their reputation and stock value as well.
As a result of their urgency to pass the CCAR test, banks are now hiring a number of professionals to specifically cater to CCAR compliance. Capital review can be done in-house or from a third party, so there are plenty of opportunities both within banks and through external firms.
“We’ve seen a growing demand for jobs revolving around the CCAR and various regulatory risk functions,” says Paul Herman, Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. “If you’re looking to make a career change and have the resources available to you, familiarize yourself with Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review regulations and testing functions. Doing so will ensure you become as marketable as possible in today’s marketplace, where he supply of these compliance professionals cannot meet the demand.”
However, since the CCAR is so new and many banks now give preference to those with that experience when hiring, how do you acquire that knowledge base? First, begin by familiarizing yourself with available CCAR information from the Federal Reserve. Union Bank also has an excellent resource on the 2014 CCAR requirements, as well as an example of their unique CCAR results, here.
If you work for a bank that is currently employing its own CCAR compliance activities, take advantage of that and learn what you can. “Make sure to expose yourself to hands-on experience and get involved in projects,” advises Paul. “If there aren’t any CCAR-specific duties for you to take on, make sure you also familiarize yourself with the Dodd-Frank Act, which goes hand-in-hand with CCAR. At the very least, being knowledgeable on regulatory risk and compliance in general can be a huge asset.”
Already working on developing your CCAR skills and knowledge? Visit our site to search for related positions and set up a CCAR job alert. Then take a look at our other related industry insight to learn how to make yourself the most marketable in the Financial Services Field.