Banks in Hong Kong are now pitching themselves against large tech firms for IT talent – and not always successfully. As we’ve reported over the past few weeks, companies such as Amazon, JD.com and Tencent are increasingly taking on technologists from the finance sector.
Compensation, however, remains one of banks’ main selling points to technology candidates. So how do banking tech salaries in Hong Kong stack up? To find out, we’ve averaged out base salaries from 2018 recruiter pay surveys across 11 mainstream banking tech jobs in Hong Kong – from analyst to director level – to produce the table below.
Cloud engineers earn more than the other functions in three of the four seniority levels in Hong Kong. As banks increasingly move systems to the cloud, they face local shortages of people qualified to work on these projects and are having to relocate expensive candidates from overseas.
At director level, however, solution architects, who have sweeping design and implementation responsibilities, typically earn more than cloud engineers.
If you want a tech-related banking job in Hong Kong where you will enjoy comparatively high pay inflation in the future, recruiters recommend moving into a governance role. IT risk and compliance jobs top our table at director rank, with salaries of HK$1,500k. Skill shortages in these functions are help to drive up pay, and banks are typically open to training candidates who’ve worked in other IT positions.
“IT risk and compliance are hot jobs at the moment in Asia, especially roles focused on anti-money laundering IT systems,” says Vince Natteri, a director at technology search firm Pinpoint Asia in Hong Kong.
While cyber security currently pays less than many other roles in our table, this may change within the next 12 to 24 months because banks in Hong Kong are recruiting more people in the profession and 20% pay rises are now common, say recruiters.
“There’s a noticeable lack of cyber security experts in the market compared to more common finance technology jobs such as developers or infrastructure engineers,” says Lynne Roeder a managing director at recruitment firm Hays. “And it’s gaining ever-increasing importance on regional CIOs’ strategic agendas, which is driving high demand for a small pool of experienced people.”
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