Standard Chartered will ramp up hiring of corporate banking relationship managers (RMs) in Singapore after Chinese New Year.
The bank is also looking to redeploy some of its Asian coverage investment bankers (others have been cut) into RM roles within its corporate and institutional banking unit, in a push to increase vanilla lending to key clients, according to a report by Reuters last week.
But transferring existing staff isn’t the full extent of its ambitions for its RM workforce this year – Stan Chart will be hiring more RMs from other banks in Singapore. It has recently commissioned recruiters to help “build back up its corporate banking business for Southeast Asia,” says a source close to the firm.
“The exercise to move back towards traditional banking started from the middle of last year,” she adds. But the bulk of the new RM jobs are expected to open up in the weeks after Chinese New Year, typically the busiest hiring period in Singapore banking.
By contrast, more job cuts are likely in Asian investment banking after the recent reported departures of several senior Stan Chart bankers, including Ken Tung, who led private equity coverage for North Asia. “Redundancies will come again later this year because there is still a very top-heavy management structure at Stan Chart,” says a Singapore-based headhunter who asked not to be named.
Stan Chart placed 31st for M&A revenues in Asia (ex-Japan) for 2017, down from 22nd the previous year, with a market share of just 0.6%, according to Dealogic.
The firm has been thinning out its management ranks since CEO Bill Winters announced in November 2015 that it would make 15,000 – mainly senior – jobs losses globally, with many of the cuts happening in Asia. A year later, the corporate and institutional banking division started to trim 10% of its headcount, under plans from chief executive Simon Cooper to streamline its structure.
Still, Stan Chart remains a major recruiter in Singapore. It is currently advertising 255 jobs, the fourth highest vacancy number in the Singapore banking sector, as shown on the table below. Technology, compliance and risk roles dominant its hiring, although many of these jobs have opened up to replace staff who have left rather than to add new headcount.
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