While large pay rises are rare in the current employment market in the Hong Kong financial sector, there are notable expectations. We asked recruiters in Hong Kong to reveal the main job functions in which candidates are still receiving double-digit salary increases when joining a new bank.
The recruiters also told us the percentage rise for each role and we averaged these out to produce the table below.
The results of our survey suggest that the Hong Kong banking sector is a long way from resolving the middle-office skill shortages that have plagued it since the financial crisis.
Compliance roles – those focused on anti-money laundering and private banking – take the first two places on the table. Such is the demand within these areas that candidates can on average boost their pay by a quarter if they move banks.
Similarly, know your customer (KYC) professionals can move employers and enjoy 24% salary uplifts. Corporate and private banks are struggling to find enough people to help them deal with new clients and more onerous account-opening rules.
In the front-office, only relationships managers in private and corporate banking are routinely receiving high pay rises.
While the average increase in private banking is 23%, some candidates with “particularly strong portfolio sizes” have recently negotiated rises of up to 40%, says Maggie Li, associate director of banking and financial services at recruiters Randstad in Hong Kong.
However, as we’ve pointed out, RMs that accept bumper salaries may soon find themselves struggling to meet onerous revenue targets a year or so down the track.
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