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Late Lunchtime Links: Asian children best prepared for careers in banking; bad news for compliance staff at Barclays

Incipient mathematicians (Photo credit: Pondspider)

Incipient mathematicians (Photo credit: Pondspider)

If you want a job in investment banking, it helps to be good at maths. Although most banks will not require that graduate level applicants have a mathematical degree, they will demand that candidates pass a numerical test to demonstrate their mathematical aptitude. As algorithmic trading and quantitative methods of managing risk have become more popular, so mathematical ability has become more important in areas like trading.

It’s instructive, therefore, that children in Asia appear noticeably more mathematically competent than those in the West. A just-released study by the research company TIMSS, which tracks mathematical and scientific achievements in schools globally over four year cycles, suggests Asian students are better prepared mathematically than students in the UK, the US or the European Union. Presented in the chart below, TIMSS’ results suggest banks should be focusing their trading and risk recruiting efforts in Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, China and Japan. Failing that, they could always try Northern Ireland.

Where the mathematicians are

Source: TIMSS

Separately, Hector Sants is off to Barclays as head of compliance. This is probably good news for Barclays, which will be able to ride on Sants’ reputational cachet. It is also probably good news for Sants – who won’t now have to stump up his own cash to become an equity partner at Deloitte. However, it sounds like it could be bad news for Barclays’ compliance staff, who are in for some big changes. In the statement announcing his appointment, Sants said he was delighted to have been asked to implement, ‘a new compliance concept and approach,’ at Barclays. It would seem that a big shake-up is coming.

Meanwhile:

The ECB would need to hire 1,000 people if it’s going to regulate banks in Europe. (Bloomberg) 

Boom in anti-money laundering jobs: HSBC will spend $700m on a global programme to “know your customer.” (sic)  (Financial Times)

Three men arrested in the Libor investigation were Former Citigroup and UBS trader, Thomas Hayes, Terry Farr and Jim Gilmour, of inter-dealer broker RP Martin. (Telegraph)  

All 3 Libor arrests involve British nationals. (Reuters) 

People still trust banks very little. (Edelman) 

Forget Wall Street, become a psychiatrist in California, earn $400k. (Bloomberg)  

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