If you’re a student in Hong Kong, which is always ranked among the world’s most expensive cities, you may well be inclined toward a career in a sector as well-remunerated as banking generally is.
But be warned: not all roles in Hong Kong banking offer high salaries. And if you get stuck in one of the low-paid job functions, it won’t be easy to make a career change into something better, even within the same firm.
What are the banking jobs to avoid in Hong Kong if you want to stay solvent after you’ve finished your analyst training? To find out, we looked through four recent recruiter pay surveys in Hong Kong and identified some of the (non-technology) roles that pay the lowest annual base salaries to people with about four years’ experience (i.e. associate level).
If you choose to work in any of the 14 job sectors in the table below (which averages out pay figures from the four salary surveys) you will still be earning less than HK$500k even after four years working at a large bank in Hong Kong.
Some of the associate jobs on our low-pay list aren’t that surprising. Loan administration often requires only rudimentary back-office skills, while banks even recruit some of their client services professionals from outside of the finance sector.
Most of the other jobs on the table, however, demand a high level of skills and education for comparatively little reward. Associate-level fund accountants and product controllers, for example, are typically qualified accountants.
The appearance of compliance generalists on the list is a warning to those who think there are always riches to be made in the middle office. While demand for compliance specialists (i.e. in areas such as financial crime) remains comparatively strong, generalists aren’t as sought after as they were in the middle of this decade when banks in Hong Kong were recruiting for urgent remedial compliance projects.
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