1st Line Risk and Controls Manager

Operations – 1st line Risk
Full Time
Hello there. We’re Zopa the Feel Good Money company.
In 2005 we built the first ever peer-to-peer lending company to give people access to simpler, better-value loans and investments. Since then we’ve helped hundreds of thousands of customers take the stress out of money by building our business on honesty, transparency and trust.

It works so well that we want to give our customers access to other great products and tools, empowering them to better manage their money. That’s why, in December 2018, we launched a different type of bank, allowing us to bring a greater range of smart finance products to even more people.

Overview of the role:
We are looking for a resourceful, hands-on, customer-centric Risk and Controls Manager to join our operations function. This role is designed for a compliance or risk professional who has excellent analytical skills, leadership qualities and exceptional attention to detail.
This person will be responsible for managing and monitoring the operational and regulatory risk of this team, in line with risk appetite and policies set by the second-line.
To achieve this, they will be the 1st lines go-to person for regulatory advice, guidance and oversight covering a multi-function 1st line Operations team consisting of: Customer Services, Collections and Recoveries, Credit Underwriting and Financial Crime. They will also be responsible for seeking advice and guidance from, and feeding back to, the central Compliance and Risk teams and ensuring effective communication and oversight between first and second lines.
Success for them, means that the team are conducting their business in accordance with all relevant regulations and standards, that risks of various types are appropriately identified and monitored, and that the right balance is struck between safety and speed.

Key Responsibilities:

    • Support and enable the business functions to manage their operational and compliance risk under the Risk and Control Self-Assessment (RCSA) process, and ensure that risks and controls are assessed accurately, objectively and independently
    • Use business intelligence/insights to track and seek to understand any potential emerging risks
    • Work very closely and collaborate with first line management, leaders and decision makers on projects, to drive positive change and creation of compliance and risk aware culture.
    • Stay on top of key regulations and requirements in the team’s product areas
    • Liaising with second-line to ensure that regulatory requirements are communicated and implemented
    • Support in identifying ways that technology can ensure compliance and safety
    • Train and advise the 1st line team on how to stay compliant and safe
    • Foster strong links and working relationships with stakeholders and the 2nd line
    • Review and maintain relevant procedures in line with group policy requirements
    • Support the central compliance and risk teams to deliver special project(s)
    • Continuous improvement projects
    • Maintain sufficient working knowledge of all regulatory responsibilities applicable to the organisation

The kind of person we’re after:

    • This is an exciting role for an individual with a risk and/or compliance advisory (business partnership) background who wants to get involved in creating great outcomes for customers, and pioneering a holistic approach to risk and compliance in a fast-moving financial technology company.

    • We have a friendly, fun, and ambitious culture where everyone contributes pro-actively towards the growth of the business, so a parallel mindset is what we are looking for. As we’ll be launching a new bank (exciting!) you’ll need to be the type of person who has an interest in learning quickly, being resourceful, and supporting business teams.

    • You thrive on providing practical, actionable advice and communications on all areas of risk to the team, and if you’re not a specialist on an area, you quickly figure out who to ask for help to get to an answer 

Ideally you will have:

    • Regulatory knowledge: you have experience with interpreting regulations, FCA approach documents, and policies and procedures, and know how to turn this information into actionable checklists and advice
    • Data and reporting: you know how to work with data (both quantitative and qualitative) to prepare regulatory and internal reporting, and know how to work with analysts if you need something more complex
    • Versatile communication skills: you are able to explain complex sets of rules and translate regulations into clear language to all levels of staff, and can do so in writing, verbally, or (if needs be) in pictures
    • Compliance and/or ops risk experience: even though it’s not strictly necessary, previous compliance and/or ops risk experience within financial services (ideally in retail banking, consumer credit or payment services) would be useful
    • Technology and agile bias: you are excited about the possibility of using technology to ensure compliance and safety of services that Zopa is working on. You are adept at using digital tools and are keen to work with technologists and experience agile methodologies.

Specific regulations and rule books that will be of use to know:

    • FCA Handbook – a strong insight into how it works and how to interpret it
    • CONC, CCA – all things consumer credit, including credit information services and debt counselling [MS1] 
    • DISP – Complaints source book
    • TCF

Zopa is proud to offer a workplace free from discrimination. Diversity of experience, perspectives, and backgrounds leads to great products and unique company culture. We simply can’t expect to empower our customers to better manage their money without challenging the current status quo. Creating the best place for money is no easy task, which is why we need talent from all walks of life.