Corporate Banking / Transaction Banking Market Update 2019

Gurj Sandhu May 8, 20193 mins read

As we are going to the second half of 2019, here are some interesting trends which are emerging:

1.       Market slowing down across Transaction Banking/ Corporate Banking

In the first half of last year, we saw a number of newly created roles, especially within the Transaction Banking/ Trade Finance area. Some international banks doubled the size of their Sales team and heavily invested in hiring external candidates with strong experience in Supply Chain Finance product. This year, however, we have witnessed a number of bankers leaving their banks post bonus season for opportunities outside of Banking (i.e.: Fintech). Also, we have seen more mid-level candidates coming out from the local banks and smaller banks due to the lack of career progression within these banks.   As a result, there are a lot more candidates in the market. Unfortunately, there are only a limited number of good opportunities for these candidates to explore as many banks are cutting cost and no longer want to invest in external hires this year. 

2.       Banks would prefer to hire “hunters”, especially for Corporate coverage roles

International Banks, Middle Eastern Banks, and Regional banks are more inclined towards hiring candidates that have a strong “hunting” mindset. This is because these banks are aggressively looking to grow their customer base in Asia. These banks would expect coverage bankers to come in with an existing book of Corporate clients, especially in the Mid-cap or Large Corporates segment. As banks prefer coverage bankers with a desire and a strong ability to build a book of business, we would advise candidates to cultivate a hunter mindset and keep expanding their client base through various networks in order for them to be a good "hunter" for any sector coverage. 

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3.       Limited number of senior level (Director/ED/MDs) roles within Global Transaction Banking & Coverage area

Unfortunately, the number of senior-level jobs in the market in Singapore is quite limited. If you are looking for a Team Lead or senior-level position, expect to start your job search by speaking to your trusted Corporate Banking recruiter way in advance and do not wait until the "right time". We have observed that Global Banks are replacing leavers with internal candidates or relocating their senior bankers from overseas for these positions. Most of the banks that are hiring for senior positions of late are Regional and Middle Eastern Banks.  

4.      Having reference checks are becoming more important

Very often, our clients ask us to do the reference check for a candidate that they would like to hire.  In Singapore, given the small and highly competitive nature of the Corporate Banking hiring market, candidates can gain a decisive advantage over the competition by producing strong references. As you start your job search, I would highly recommend you have a couple of references in mind from an early stage. Corporate Banking clients also at times seek our professional advice and feedback from our interaction with candidates throughout the recruitment process to help them make an informed decision.
If you'd like to know more, please feel to email me at and I'd be happy to share more market updates within CIB/Transaction Banking area.

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Gurj Sandhu - R1113687's picture
Managing Director


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