ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Nearly half of all compliance officers charged with keeping the bank in line with securities regulations are paid less than $60,000 a year, according to a recent survey. The Financial Markets Association surveyed 46 securities compliance officers at its annual compliance conference last month. Those questioned were mostly small bank securities dealers or bank-affiliated securities dealers.

While 48% of the bankers said they take home less than $60,000 annually, new compliance officers make even less. Half of the respondents said entry level pay is less than $30,000.

Just 9% of the respondents said they earn more than $100,000 a year.

In addition, just under a third of those surveyed said compliance officers are not eligible for any type of bonus based on the bank's profits from securities sales or trades.

While most of the respondents said they are not responsible for such jobs as testing trading and underwriting limits, compliance officers have plenty of other duties.

Respondents said they have primary responsibility for advising other employees about changes in laws and rules, acting as a contact with regulators during examinations, conducting in-house training, and monitoring insider transactions.

Securities compliance officers reported that they do not get much help accomplishing those tasks; 46% of the officers surveyed said there are just one or two people working on securities compliance at their bank.

Malcolm Northam, chairman of the conference and a consultant with the Secura Group, said he was disappointed by the results because they showed the officers do not have a broad risk management focus.

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