Bye bye Sydney, hello Singapore

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Want to work somewhere else? Seems like banks are only too happy to oblige.

It's all part of the war (and we're talking brutal hand-to-hand combat here) for Australian finance talent. OK, so Australia is short of financiers, but banks' thinking seems to be that they'd rather put someone out to pasture somewhere else for a few years than see them skip the fence to work for a rival.

Erica Burmeister, senior HR generalist at Citigroup, says as much: "Overseas placements are most definitely available to any of our high-potential, high-performance staff. London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore top the list. All countries are screaming out for talent and we are happy to send people off to London or wherever, rather than lose them to a competitor."

It helps that Aussies are popular with overseas recruiters. One HR specialist tells us that whenever an Australian CV is sent to London, "They don't even look at it: they just hire the person straight away." Things may be good, but this sounds rather like wishful thinking, surely?

Caan Krsztew-Ivanow at Melbourne-based finance recruiter Graeme V. Jones & Associates, says banks will hold positions open for months, open offices in new locations, pay higher salaries, pay childcare or school fees and accommodation allowances, as well as offering luscious foreign placements - all just to keep good staff. "It's desperate out there," he says.

It certainly sounds like it.

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