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Morning Coffee: Four things that Moody’s new report says about careers at Singaporean banks

Singaporean banks

Same city, different career paths

Moody’s released a credit-assessment report yesterday comparing the three Singaporean banks, DBS, OCBC and UOB. While the ratings agency focused on the firms’ financial strengths, it’s possible to draw out some careers-related conclusions.

1. If you have to work in capital markets, choose DBS

The Moody’s report says all three banks have a “low appetite” for capital market activities, but DBS’ market-risk appetite is the largest and its earnings reveal a slightly higher share of trading gains compared with OCBC and UOB.

2. UOB is the worst bank for an overseas career

Cross-border transactions are expanding at all of the banks, but domestic-focused UOB has proportionally less exposure to overseas markets.

3. OCBC may need to hire more compliance staff

The introduction of the new Basel III rules poses the largest compliance headache for OCBC, according to Moody’s. The bank faces large deductions from the CET1 capital of its investments in insurance subsidiary Great Eastern – DBS and UOB face much smaller deductions.

4. DBS offers the steadiest consumer banking careers

You are unlikely to be laid off from DBS’ consumer bank. Potentially higher interest rates in the US and Singapore will benefit DBS more than OCBC and UOB, according to Moody’s. DBS has a lower cost of funding because of its higher share of low-yielding customer deposits.


Barclays has named Mark Dearlove, an executive involved in the Libor-rate rigging scandal, as head of Asia Pacific. (Wall Street Journal)

Four ex-Barclays Asia executives are to launch a new investment bank. (Reuters)

Korea’s National Pension Service is opening an office in Singapore in the second half of the year, but only a “handful” of people will work there. (Asian Investor)

DBS becomes first foreign bank to apply to set up a subsidiary in India. (Straits Times)

Four Chinese banks lead mainland margin lending charge. (South China Morning Post)

UOB KayHian Q1 net profit up 3.4%. (Straits Times)

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