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Morning Coffee: Why you should work in digital banking in Asia

Banks in Asia hiring in digital banking

Time to invest in digital banking

Back in January we tipped digital banking to be one of the hot hiring sectors for banks in Asia. As we reach the mid-point of the year, these predictions are ringing true.

The demand for digital banking candidates in Singapore and Hong Kong has been relentless in recent months, say recruiters, because consumer banks continue to invest in new technology. Yesterday, for example, UOB announced that it will relaunch its digital banking platforms in July, reports the Business Times, in an attempt to overtake rivals DBS and OCBC who had previously spent more money on their digital channels.

Credit Suisse chose Singapore as the location to design its new wealth management online platform, which it launched In March. “Consumers in Asia tend to react very positively to digital innovations, and our clients here are also younger, more tech-savvy and demand digital innovations in banking services,” Francois Monnet, chief operating officer, private banking Asia Pacific, at Credit Suisse, told us at the time. And in May DBS CEO Piyush Gupta urged the banking industry in Asia to make better use of big data in offering advice to wealthy clients, citing the example of DBS’ new tie-up with IBM.

Earlier this week Finance Asia noted “clear demand” for banks to ramp up their use of digital banking channels aimed primarily at Asia’s growing middle-classes. The region is already home to about half of all internet, social media and mobile users, while last year Asia overtook the US in online spending, according too eMarketer. There are some 670m digital banking customers in Asia, a number set to rise to 1.7bn by 2020, according to McKinsey estimates.

Most digital banking teams use “agile” processes to develop new products, which means they have hiring needs across a variety of functions – including technology, risk, compliance, marketing and operations. Their technology-focused employees typically include project managers, system analysts and analyst programmers, according to recruiters.

Surging demand for specialist talent means hiring is challenging. As at the start of the year, banks in Asia continue to try to recruit not just from each other but from the likes of digital retail giants and social media companies. Importing talent from Western markets is also common in this sector.


UBS prepares new advertising campaign to promote its renewed focus on wealth management. (Wall Street Journal)

Bank of India to re-enter investment banking. (Economic Times)

Salaries across all sectors in Singapore to rise by 4.4% this year, says Towers Watson survey. (Straits Times)

OUB makes major step towards “wholly foreign-owned bank” status in Vietnam. (Reuters)

NUS appoints two new pro-chancellors. (Straits Times)

Comments (1)

  1. It really depends on your role and who you are friends with.

    In DBS you should be a manger and be friends with the right people, its the incompetent mangers paradise, nobody dares to challenge even the most crazy ideas from mangement.

    DBS is the creative tech freaks worst nightmare, its slow, its filled with incompetent i micro managers who bully smart workers and creative techies until resignation, and its using out dated technology with unstable infra struture.

    DBS is imitating other banks at its best, nothing nothing innovative ever comes out of DBS under current management.

    Mr. Gupta would do DBS and the singaporian people a favour by stepping down and let someone else reshape the organisation to meet the future.

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