Banks in Hong Kong are not typically offering pay rises of more than 20% to lure new recruits.
In contrast to two years ago, salary increases for candidates moving between banks are now largely in the 15% to 20% range, even in the most sought-after sectors.
We asked six recruitment agencies to tell us percentage pay increments (at VP level) for the most in-demand Hong Kong banking job functions. We then averaged out their figures to produce the chart below.
Surprisingly, M&A tops our table and is the only job where average salary hikes for mid-level candidates squeak past the 20% mark.
Recent restrictions on capital outflow imposed by the Chinese State Council helped China outbound M&A volume fall 43% to $74bn year-on-year in the first half, although this performance was still the second-highest H1 on record, according to Dealogic.
The comparatively high pay increases in M&A are being fuelled by hiring at Chinese banks in Hong Kong – particularly CITIC, China Securities and Huatai Securities – which are inching up mainland M&A league tables and boosting compensation as they increasingly compete with Western firms for talent.
Just behind M&A on our chart sit three more predictable sectors.
While compliance candidates could count on 25% to 30% just two years ago, 20% is now the norm.
As we reported earlier this month, compliance hiring in Hong Kong is falling as fixed-term contracts expire, technology takes over jobs, and banks’ reach their desired headcount levels.
Meanwhile, talent shortages continue to plague private banking and cyber security, so banks are offering 20% when they recruit.
Image credit: kupicoo, Getty