Q3 2019 Banking Operations Recruitment Trends

Hagen Lee October 22, 20193 mins read

Your quarterly update on the Banking Operations market, where we provide you with insights from both the previous and upcoming quarters.

What were the market trends for last quarter?

In the third quarter of the year, we have observed that banks generally adopt a more conservative approach towards operations hiring as they look to close off their books for the financial year. Despite that, we have seen the Chinese banks continue to grow progressively in the South-East Asian market and also a number of Middle Eastern banks looking to set up branches in Singapore. Roles in the market are generally of replacement nature except for a few small to mid size banks. In terms of the kind of roles, there is a spike in KYC and trade finance operation roles.

Banking Operations Recruitment Trends

What are the major skills in demand?

Given the increasing regulatory demands on anti money laundering measures, client due diligence has became the first line of control for banking in terms of ensuring proper screening for potential new client. As such, candidates with  hybrid skill set of KYC maker and checker experience are highly sought after in the market. With more maker roles being offshore to low cost centres, all rounded experience are high in demand to fill the checker function or even perform quality assurance on the KYC files to ensure a 6-eye check model. Trade finance business continue to be the safety net for traditional corporate lending banks. As such, trade finance operations remains the core infrastructure for the business from an operational perspective.

What are the skill gap shortages?

There is an increasingly focus for banks to tap on the vast China market as they look to expand their business. That is even more so for the private banking space as even the boutique set ups look to be part of the play as well. Because of the nature of the client, Mandarin proficiency continue to be in hot demand. However, there are limited candidates in the market who are able to speak and read business level mandarin. As such, such talent are highly sought after and as a result able to command a stronger bargaining power in the hiring process.

Banking Operations Recruitment Trends

What is the outlook for the next quarter?

Given the fact that most banks look to end off the year on the positive side of the books, back end operations hiring tend to slow down in general. Also, from a cost perspective, we should continue to expect the bigger global names adopting an offshoring approach for operations function. In terms of business, private banking should continue to dominate the headlines while the corporate and investment banking continue to feel the heat of the slowing economy. We should also expect banks making use of flexible interim solutions like contracting to cover for leavers while they finalize on the budgeting plans for the new year ahead.

Hagen Lee - R1870932's picture
Consultant | Operations, Banking & Financial Services
hlee@morganmckinley.com

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