Banks in Singapore are still hiring expats. This is where

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Expats banking jobs Singapore

Global banks in Singapore continue to step up their hiring of local talent – and last year the Singapore government made it even tougher for foreign candidates to get employment passes.

But Singapore remains an international financial centre and there are still some roles – mainly middle-office ones – in which banks are willing to relocate candidates from abroad. Here’s a selection.

Specialists in US and European regulation

“International banks require foreign talent in areas where overseas regulations directly impact the Singapore market, for example the local implementation procedures around Dodd-Frank and EMIR,” says Richard Aldridge, a director at recruitment company Black Swan Group in Singapore. “This skill set isn’t readily available locally and requires a strong understanding of overseas markets.”

Commodities market risk

“There are local skills shortages here and we’re seeing big salaries being used to attract overseas talent, often ex-traders pulled into risk management to engage a more ‘can do’ attitude to trades and new markets,” says Nick Wells a director at search firm Alicorn Chase in Singapore.


“Usually quants have such an advanced education, often at PhD level, that banks in Singapore find it hard to source all their talent locally. They often look for people from the top universities across the world,” says James Stokes, an executive at search firm Anton Murray Consulting. “Also, quant job functions are often similar regardless of location.”

Portfolio managers

“Asset management firms in Singapore need international equities portfolio managers who have have worked across different locations,” says Stokes. “Local candidates can struggle to provide this kind of international experience.”

Regulatory risk

“International banks and asset managers are regularly hiring overseas specialists in regulatory risk,” says Wells. “This job market is highly volatile with big salaries and guaranteed bonuses being used to attract the best talent. In most cases these are US or European firms that are required to be globally compliant with the various new risk frameworks in the securities and investment industries.”

Emerging markets private bankers

“Private banks in Singapore are particularly interested to hire private banking RMs from Malaysia, China and Indonesia,” says Chai Leng Lim, director of banking at recruiters Randstad in Singapore. “These candidates have strong local networks of high-net-worth clients who banks want to start banking their assets out of Singapore.”

Anti-money laundering 

It’s a perennially hot part of the Singaporean job market which continues to suffer from skill shortages. Banks are especially open to overseas candidates for senior AML roles, says Orelia Chan, an associate director at Pure Search in Singapore. “This is because at that experience level the compliance market in Singapore is relatively immature compared to other countries.”

Image credit: Jupiterimages, Getty

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