Working in an operations role in Hong Kong isn’t as secure as it once was – headcount is slowly shrinking as some junior jobs are offshored to lower cost locations like India, the Philippines and mainland China.
If you can manage to reach the middle ranks, however, banks are more likely to keep you based in Hong Kong because they still need experienced operations staff to provide on-the-ground support to the local front office. And banks are more likely to pay you (fairly) well.
But exactly which back-office jobs should you be working in if you want a decent salary in Hong Kong?
To find out, we’ve looked at salary surveys from five recruitment companies and averaged out base pay at VP level (six years’ experience or more) to produce the table below.
The best paid operations role in Hong Kong is project management, which pays HK$1,100k (US$142k) a year. Banks are having to hire more project managers in their back offices – particularly to manage offshoring – which is pushing up pay.
Client services and client onboarding are the next most lucrative back-office jobs, with banks prepared to pay a premium for people who deal directly with their customers.
Client onboarding has also suffered from a skills shortage for several years in Hong Kong as banks try to recruit more staff to deal with more vigorous know-your-customer (KYC) regulations. Salary inflation has ensued in the function.
Towards the bottom of our chart salaries start to plunge as the jobs become more administrative. Loans administrators in Hong Kong, for example, earn HK$625k (US$80k) on average by the time they become VPs.
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