HSBC, Citi or Stan Chart: where should you send your CV in Hong Kong?

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Citi, HSBC and Standard Chartered: they are three of the Western commercial banks most entrenched in Hong Kong. The latter two are even deemed so important to the city’s financial system that they must hold more capital in reserve than other banks.

But which of the de facto ‘big three’ foreign banks has the most Hong Kong-based vacancies in your job function?

To find out, we searched through the banks’ Hong Kong careers websites and allocated their advertised roles into the 12 broad job sectors (excluding retail and insurance). For each sector, we then worked out the percentage of vacancies for each bank to produce the table below.

Overall, the results show that Standard Chartered – which has a much larger staff presence in Singapore than in Hong Kong – is lagging its two rivals by a considerable margin. Only in operations, business development, and risk management does Stan Chart’s share of total jobs top 20%.

HSBC has more vacancies than Citi and Stan Chart in 10 of the 12 job sectors we surveyed. While compliance hiring has tailed off across the banking industry in Hong Kong, our results show that HSBC (67% of jobs) is clearly the bank doing the most recruitment in this function right now.

It’s a similar story in technology and digital banking, where HSBC boasts 86% of current vacancies. HSBC is hiring more developers and project managers in Hong Kong, one of its main global tech hubs, the firm’s head of APAC digital products, Tamara van den Ban, told us in August. Stan Chart’s front-office facing tech roles are typical based in Singapore.

Citi, however, ranks ahead of HSBC and Stan Chart for Asia ex-Japan investment banking revenues for the first nine months of 2017, according to Dealogic. Unsurprisingly, it’s also got by far the most (85%) front-office job on offer in capital markets, M&A, sales, trading, and research.

The US bank’s new local headquarters, which opened last year in East Kowloon, now houses many of its back-office staff. Our results show that Citi continues to expand headcount in the high-tech office: it has more operations positions open than either of its competitors.

Image credit: Noel Hendrickson, Getty

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