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Morning Coffee: You have three weeks to quit, Asian bank tells staff

You have three weeks to quit, Asian bank tells staff

The countdown's on

Want to leave the Asian banking sector to set up a fintech firm, join a charity or perhaps run a boutique hotel? If you work for RHB you have just under three weeks to make up your mind.

The Malaysian bank is offering a voluntary redundancy option, expiring on 23 September, to all local permanent employees, in a bid to improve productivity amid a slowing economy and a weakening currency, reports Reuters.

Will investment bankers at RHB take up the offer? On the surface it does seem tempting – 2015 has not been a great year for Southeast Asian investment banking, with revenues in the region down 14% to $621m as of mid-August. And as we reported last week, bankers are increasingly looking to move to the buy side.

But unless RHB bankers have already secured an exit route, they may be better off trying to stay in their current roles. The IB job market in Singapore and Malaysia isn’t strong – rival CIMB has recently cut jobs – and despite the high interest in moving it still remains notoriously difficult to shift into private equity or hedge funds in Asia.

Who might be more tempted by RHB’s offer? Malaysia-based risk and compliance professionals could well want to attempt a move to Singapore, where salaries are higher. Local skill shortages in risk and compliance mean banks in the Republic are typically open to considering overseas CVs.


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