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Morning Coffee: Singapore banks suffer skill shortage within a skill shortage

Singapore suffers skill shortage within a skill shortage

Caught short

If it wasn’t hard enough for private banks to hire relationship managers in Singapore, now they are finding it equally difficult to convince compliance professionals to join their ranks, reports Reuters.

“It’s never easy to find the right [compliance] people, and it’s tougher than ever before – it’s a war for talent as far as we are concerned,” Conrad Lim, deputy chief executive at LGT Bank (Singapore) told Reuters. Lim’s compliance team has more than tripled in size over the last 10 years, but he is still hiring as the regulatory burden continues to rise.

The shortage of compliance staff is also impacting front-office jobs. Know-your-customer checks are becoming more onerous and this can lead to longer account-opening times and even loss of clients, said Mark Wightman, Singapore-based partner for Wealth & Asset Management Advisory at EY.

And private bankers are increasingly abandoning potential job moves for compliance reasons, according to headhunters we’ve spoken to. “I was recently trying to move someone from a bank that had no problems serving his clients to a bank that wanted to know the source of his clients’ wealth since the beginning of time,” says Rahul Sen, head of private wealth management at search firm The Omerta Group in Singapore. “Compliance issues are taking much longer to resolve these days.”


Deutsche Bank: the China meltdown now looks a lot like the dotcom bubble. (Business Insider)

Wanted in China: a reassuring face to calm panicking investors. (Wall Street Journal)

When it comes to Singapore banks, a bank is a bank is a bank. (Motley Fool)

RBS in talks to sell Indian private banking unit to Sanctum Wealth. (Reuters)

Maybank’s fintech startup programme lures 115 tech firms. (Deal Street Asia)

Great Eastern’s Q2 net profit up. (Straits Times)

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