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Morning Coffee: Why job seekers already see Stan Chart and HSBC as “Asian banks”

HSBC and Standard Chartered

But will candidates care if they move?

As debate rages on as to whether HSBC and Standard Chartered should move their headquarters from London to Hong Kong and Singapore respectively, a new chart from Reuters shows how Stan Chart’s (and to a lesser extent HSBC’s) staff numbers are already skewed towards Asia. Stan Chart’s combined Singapore and Hong Kong headcount is about 14,400 (compared with just 1,800 in London), despite its recent trimming of equities and retail jobs.

Reuters chart

Given their existing employee numbers, relocating their HQs to Asia may in fact have little impact on the employer brands of both banks. “If SCB moved its headquarters to Singapore, there would be more senior jobs here,” says a recruiter in Singapore who asked not to be named. “But many heads of department are based here already and I don’t think most staff would notice much difference in their day-to-day roles. To some extent, for employees and candidates, it’s already considered an Asian bank.”

As we reported last week, the size of their operations in Hong Kong and their long history in the city have elevated HSBC and Stan Chart above Greater China-headquartered banks in the minds of most job seekers there.


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