As recently as two years ago banks in Singapore were offering pay rises of more than 20% to lure new recruits. Not anymore.
But 10%-plus increases are still possible for candidates moving between banks. Which job functions are offering the biggest salary hikes in Singapore banking?
To find out, we asked seven recruitment agencies to tell us percentage pay increments (at VP level) for the most in-demand job sectors. We then averaged out their figures to produce the list of 13 jobs below.
Quants top our table, with an average of 18%. High academic barriers to entering the profession and local skill shortages are constantly pushing up pay, says Gary Lai, managing director for Southeast Asia at recruiters Charterhouse Partnership.
Unsurprisingly, cyber security is also enjoying relatively healthy pay increments. “With evolving security guidelines in Singapore, it’s an area where there’s a supply/demand gap both for banks and insurance firms,” says Nilay Khandelwal, regional director of recruitment agency Michael Page in Singapore.
M&A and capital markets both make our list, although 16% average pay increases are still low in historical terms for front-office functions. “There’s weak hiring demand from the banks – most have been downsizing in Asia – and huge oversupply of candidates,” says Jay Abeyasinghe, associate director of financial services at recruiters Morgan McKinley in Singapore.
While compliance candidates could count on 25% two years ago, 16% is now the norm. Compliance hiring is falling as technology takes over jobs and banks achieve headcount targets. However, the employment market remains “strong” compared to other jobs, says Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, MD of Robert Half. The more specialist the compliance role, the higher the pay rise, adds Natasha Madhavan, head of risk at Selby Jennings.
Internal audit job seekers are currently picking up 15% on average, but unlike compliance professionals, upward pressure on their salaries is increasing. “Specialist roles where the candidate pool is relatively small – compliance audit or IT infrastructure audit, for example – can command higher pay rises,” says Tim Klimcke, director of financial services at recruiters Robert Walters in Singapore.
Image: Baona, Getty