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FCA seeks more tech expertise in fight against fraud

UK financial services regulator wants technology professionals to join its team fighting online fraud

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is looking for a “significant number” of tech experts as it invests in the use of data to prevent online fraud.

As part of a “heavy” investment in data, the UK financial services regulator wants to hire people with expertise in artificial intelligence, analytics and data science, as well as cloud engineering and digital technology.

The new recruits come on top of 100 people hired since 2020 as part of the FCA’s data strategy.

Jessica Rusu, chief data, information and intelligence officer at the FCA, said: “Better use of data means we can be more proactive and find and stop harm faster. We are continuing to improve our data, technology and capabilities to act decisively in consumers’ interests, while making it easier for firms to report to us.” 

About 100,000 websites are scanned by the FCA every day to identify possible scams. Between May 2021 and April 2022, the FCA added 1,966 possible scams to its consumer warning list – about one-third more than for the same period the previous year. 

The regulator also uses advanced analytics and new sources of data to identify inappropriate financial adverts, and 564 adverts were withdrawn or amended after being flagged by the FCA – double the number during the previous 12 months.

Other tech initiatives at the FCA include the introduction of a sanctions-screening tool to support the monitoring of organisations or individuals that have been sanctioned. This was developed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The finance sector is very competitive when it comes to recruitment, with high salaries and the opportunity to gain career-defining experience. The FCA might have to look outside the sector for the people it needs, according to one IT professional in the UK banking sector, who said working for regulators often appeals to IT professionals who want to “do the right thing” rather than earn more money and advance their careers.

“I can’t imagine they pay as much as the big banks, but they probably offer a better work/life balance,” he added.

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