Seven things you need to know about getting a banking job in Australia

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Are you looking for a banking job in Australia now that the new financial year has begun? Or are you wanting to move down under and break into the local finance sector?

We asked several finance recruiters in Australia to tell us the key trends that job seekers like you need to know about. Here’s what they said.

1. Junior bankers are in demand and boutiques are hiring

“The majority of 2017 corporate advisory and capital markets vacancies in Australian investment banking are at senior analyst and associate level,” says Jacob Smith, director of recruitment agency JS Careers. “Boutique investment banks and corporate advisory firms are recruiting more actively. Bulge bracket banks are currently trying to maximise resources internally – by using alternative coverage teams or offshore offices – before they hire.”

2. Compliance recruitment is still blazing

The boom in compliance recruitment may be quietening down elsewhere, but not in Australia. JS Careers experienced a 33% increase in compliance vacancies in the 2016/2017 financial year compared with the previous one. “It’s been particularly busy within financial crime as financial services firms continue to grow their AML/FCC teams to address increasing local and global financial crime risk and regulation,” says Smith.

3. The Big Four banks want credit staff, not corporate bankers

“In corporate banking, there’s been a big push for junior and mid-level credit staff at the expense of more relationship managers and sales people,” says John Meehan, associate director of financial services at recruiters Robert Walters. “The Big Four Australian banks are leading this trend and building their credit teams to perform more analytical and data-rich functions. Credit roles are no longer seen just as a support mechanism for relationship and sales managers.”

4. Portfolio managers are tough to move

It’s not easy recruiting portfolio managers in the funds management sector. “Employers are increasing expectations when hiring and looking for broader experience across a number of asset classes. But quality candidates are hard to find,” says Ryan Lewis, regional director of recruiters Michael Page. “Good portfolio managers are still in the driver’s seat as their skills remain scarce. They’re also typically risk adverse when about moving, unless it makes sense from a financial, brand, career, and training perspective.”

5. Salaries are up in business development

Business development professionals are particularly sought after within Australian funds management, says Meredith Jordan, a partner at search firm Platinum Pacific Partners. “Many funds, boutique and large, are seeking to appoint investments-focused business development professionals. This demand has seen salaries increase for new appointments and a boost in compensation for existing staff for retention purposes.”

6. Banks are hiring project managers into their finance teams

Project finance managers, who provide analysis to help banks’ strategic decisions, are in demand as more foreign banks – such as Singapore’s DBS – set up in operations in Australia. “But this is a niche area of finance, so the turnover rate is very low,” says Andrew Morris, director of recruitment company Robert Half. “PMs need strong incentives to change jobs – a highly competitive salary and a job title upgrade.”

7. There’s a new hot area within risk management

“Conduct risk teams are expanding across both Australian and global banks because ASIC has further defined its guidelines for banks to have clear conduct policies and procedures,” says Smith from JS Careers. “Candidates have transitioned into this new discipline from a range of backgrounds, including financial markets, control room and financial crime compliance.”

Image credit: mihailomilovanovic, Getty

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