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Morning Coffee: Are you underpaid on $150k in Singapore?

Compliance salaries in Singapore banking

Not enough pay on $150k

A new survey from recruitment firm Kelly Services has pegged the annual salary range for compliance managers at finance firms in Singapore at S$120k to S$150k (US$89k to US$111k). But such is the demand for senior talent in compliance that in the current job market most managers could push for a higher salary, especially if changing companies.

“Even the upper end – S$150k – does seem low for experienced managers in compliance. You may actually be underpaid,” says a recruiter in Singapore who asked not to be named. As we reported yesterday, the hiring boom in compliance is focused on the mid and upper levels – those with established relationships with local regulators and the ability to influence people in the front office.

According to a survey by Robert Walters earlier this year, only compliance managers in retail banking have an upper salary threshold of S$150k – in other sectors (private banking, investment banking and fund management, for example), S$180k or S$190k is the norm. Meanwhile, recruiters specialising in compliance are routinely securing salary increments of 20% or more for their candidates.

“My advice if you’re an experienced compliance manager on S$150k is to negotiate a better salary – or move jobs,” says the recruiter. Singapore is, after all, ranked as the world’s most expensive city by the Economist Intelligence Unit.


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