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Big banking skill shortages in China: these are the jobs where you can take advantage

Big banking skill shortages are gripping China: these are the jobs where you can take advantage

Shanghai shortage

Banks in China are still dealing with severe skill shortages, despite the recent economic slowdown in the country.

In many important job sectors – from compliance to capital markets – they have 10 of fewer candidates to choose from, according to figures from the eFinancialCareers database.

While this is frustrating for hiring managers at banks, it means mainland job seekers are generally in a strong position to find new roles and negotiate decent pay rises.

We compared the amount of China-based vacancies to the number of local CVs on our database across 19 key finance job functions to produce the chart below.

If you’re in one of the sectors towards the top of the chart, your job search will in theory be comparatively straightforward as you will face the least competition from other candidates.

Operations professionals will have the ‘easiest’ time finding a new job in China – there are just two China-based candidates on our database for every available job in the country.

Although India is still a more popular location for back-office roles, some global banks are also expanding in China. More than 10% of Asian operations vacancies at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Morgan Stanley and Standard Chartered are mainland-based, according to our June analysis of their careers sites. For UBS, the figure is nearly 50%.

But as in information technology (four resumes per vacancy), banks are finding that the supply of candidates in China is not as plentiful as it is in the subcontinent, where the offshoring market is more developed.

Private banking is experiencing talent shortages across Asia, but the supply of candidates per role is actually more limited in China (3 CVs) than it is in the region’s wealth hub, Singapore (16 CVs, according to our data for that market).

Some foreign banks – in particular UBS, which has plans to double its overall mainland headcount –are trying to build mainland wealth businesses. But there are very few relationship managers in China who are equipped to deal with the sophisticated products offered by global banks. Top Chinese RMs also typically prefer to work in Hong Kong.

As in other countries, compliance and risk professionals are highly sought after China – you will be one of just five candidates for vacancies in both these functions, according to our data. Demand is being fuelled by China’s recent crackdown on financial crime and its continued liberalisation of financial markets.

Capital markets professionals (6 competing candidates) are also in demand. While first-half ECM and DCM revenues were both down year-on-year in China, mainland bankers with cross-border skills remain rare and prized commodities.

Image credit: 4FR, Getty Images

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