The job market could become easy street for compliance experts with deep knowledge and experience in the financial services industry.
Rob Chrisman, a mortgage industry writer, noted in a recent blog that the release of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's qualified mortgage rule and servicing standards "will cause massive increased costs on all loans serviced." Chrisman sees these costs covering everything from "new staff, lawyers, tracking, lawsuits and regulatory actions."
In other words, unemployment remains above 7% for the nation, but those with the right experience in mortgage lending or servicing compliance may find career opportunities in the near future.
"You are going to see these hires made in legal departments and compliance departments," said Michael Waldron, a partner at Ballard Spahr, who says there will be some hiring emerge from the release of the CFPB rules. Other areas of potential recruitment include the addition of compliance specialists, regulatory analysts, and lawyers with backgrounds in banking regulation, enforcement and litigation, Waldron explained.
As for rookies entering the field, Waldron does not expect a surge of hiring for newly-minted, untrained compliance specialists or attorneys.
"It's new in that the rules are new, but the concepts are not at all new. In reality, you need a certain base level of knowledge on how the industry works to truly digest all of these new rules and advise on how they should be implemented or operationalized," he explained.
Waldron's firm Ballard Spahr has already established itself as a law firm with a practice area focused on mortgage regulation, credit products and regulatory enforcement proceedings related to mortgage banking.
While he believes the CFPB's final rules will spark more hiring or searches for experts in the space, Waldron says compliance-related hiring is not new, since the business has been growing its compliance and analysis footprint for a few years now.
"The bottom line is there are going to be very real costs associated with these final rules," Waldron said. "It's a very resource intensive process."
"I can tell you in the past couple of years, there has been greater demand for expertise in this area. There are more third-party solution providers offering solutions, consulting firms that have developed a practice around it, and law firms that have come to the table wanting to advise people through the crisis," Waldron said.
Still, he says, each new hire has to have the appropriate breadth of knowledge to deal with new rules in an already complex industry.
Waldron believes most of the new compliance-related positions will require someone with "a certain level of experience and expertise."
He added, "The danger the industry runs into is whether or not, there is an appropriate vetting of the personnel that are being utilized to accomplish the goals that need be accomplished. That's an issue whether you're hiring outside counsel or a compliance consultant."