The growing demand for Chinese products and services in the UAE, as well as bilateral trade and tax agreements, have increased the need for bankers servicing UAE-based Chinese nationals. In the past these consumers received limited attention from international, Chinese and local banks, but this is starting to change.
The approximately 6,000 Chinese companies that have registered in the UAE also need banking services, such as business accounts, cash management, trade finance, treasury and foreign exchange. Private banking is also needed to create wealth management solutions for affluent Chinese residing or trading in the UAE.
Recruiting Chinese bankers has recently grown in importance, says Mark Denniss, partner, East Asia Strategic Partners. “We anticipate this will continue to increase with selected hiring in 2012. The roles in most demand would be relationship managers who manage client relations in areas such as personal banking or SME /corporate banking, and also wealth management,” he adds.
Chinese customers in the UAE need bankers who speak Chinese, understand Chinese culture, and know their banking needs. Banks also require support staff to provide ongoing documentation, phone banking and internet banking in Chinese.
Chinese candidates are generally becoming more interested in working abroad and many Chinese banks have transferred employees to the UAE.
“The relationship managers will need to speak Mandarin and English, so no need for them to speak Arabic. With a population of over 200,000 Chinese living in UAE, the settling-in period would be comparable to expats coming from Europe or other countries from the APAC region,” says Denniss.
Many Chinese are attracted to the UEA for monetary reasons. “Compensation will be higher than remuneration packages in China (and tax free), however, I can’t give you a specific percentage increase,” he adds.