B&Fs 2018 H1

Banking & Financial Services Market Insights H1 2018

Published on 4th January 2018

For Hong Kong's banking and financial services job market, the second half of 2017 was an exciting period with a healthy flow of new and replacement headcounts at various levels under different functions.

Governance functions have been busy

Throughout the remainder of 2017, compliance roles, particularly within regulatory and financial crime, were still predominant roles being hired at all levels, along with the demand for functional and project or transformation skillsets. There were also some ad hoc hiring for speciality compliance skills within specific products (e.g. equities) and testing. In risk and audit areas, we typically saw open roles in business risk, credit and operational risk, as well as a continuous demand for internal auditors at all levels in the market.

Buy-side continued to demand fund finance and corporate accounting experience

In the finance area, buy-side continued to demand a combination of fund finance and corporate accounting experience, with junior roles being opened to Big 4-experienced professionals, and mid to senior roles requiring relevant industry background.

During Q4 2017, we also saw financial institutions in banking, asset management and insurance looking for mid-level candidates with strong financial planning and analysis background. There were hardly any finance openings at the senior end from the banks, and though there were movements from international financial institutions to Chinese banks or asset management companies, replacement headcounts were filled through internal promotions.

Client onboarding skills remained predominant in the operations area

Client onboarding skills in both investment banking and private banking were still predominant in the operations area for the second half of 2017. There have also been many permanent or contract roles in operations project management, from some of the bigger international banks, to implement new regulatory requirements such as MiFID II and UMR, to name a few.

Frontline sales and marketing talent were in demand

Retail and corporate banking, as well as insurance industries have had plenty of marketing positions including product development with demand for credit card, deposit and investment products knowledge, as well as channel marketing and bancassurance roles. Frontline sales in these business lines have also been continuously active throughout 2017, hiring in volume at junior to mid-level positions.

Some job seekers have begun their job search in Q4 2017

Whilst professionals tend to wait for bonuses towards the end of the year before seeking new jobs, some have started their search with a view of resigning from their current employers as soon as their bonuses are received. Salary expectations during the last quarter of the year always proved to be challenging, particularly from those who will end up foregoing their bonus and annual salary increase, demanding increments up to 30% versus an average of 10%-15% on other periods of the year.  Counter-offers have also been highly competitive to prevent attrition in teams with existing high turnover.

Banking and financial services talent outlook for the months ahead

We expect hiring activities in Q1 2018 to slow down as professionals wait for bonuses and salary reviews. Financial institutions will also use this period to assess potential movements within their functions, confirming headcounts for 2018 and getting additional approvals as needed. We should see an increase in activities and processes from the middle of Q2 2018 onwards.

Similar skills will be in demand in 2018. Financial institutions will continue to look for strong regulatory and financial crime compliance professionals, with increasing demand for regulatory transformation experience due to upcoming global evaluations in Hong Kong (FATF), and increasing local regulatory demands (HKMA and SFC). This also means that most banks will be fighting for this type of professionals.

The rise of AI means skills in digital change management-related projects will be sought after, to implement robotic process automation. With constantly changing customer habits from traditional to digital means, financial institutions will continue to hire professionals with strong digital channel-related experience within marketing, product development and management function to further enhance their customer value and experience.

Investment banks will continue to focus on process efficiencies and we may see further offshoring or restructuring within their back office functions, whilst private banking will be looking for more support staff after increased front-line hiring from 2017 and 2016.

In 2018, relationship management hiring in the retail and corporate banking space will likely be another constant, and competition for similar talent pool at junior to mid-levels will continue to be aggressive.

China’s increasing importance will also create a further demand for talent with China market experience, whether it be from banks, asset management or private equity industries.

Reflecting back, 2017 was a surprising year of generally positive movements, but it also had its own challenges as markets continue to be unpredictable. With demands for new, enhanced and evolved skills, we are cautiously optimistic of what lies ahead in the first six months of 2018.

Banking & Financial Services
Salary Report for H1 2018*

Investment Banking

 
Job title Annual salary range (HK$)
Internal Audit
Managing Director 2.2M+
Director 1.7M–2.1M
Vice President  1M–1.6M
Assistant Vice President 600K–900K
Associate 360K–600K
Analyst  300K–420K

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Regional Chief Financial Officer 2.2M+
Country Chief Financial Officer  1.8M+

Compliance
Managing Director 2.3M+
Director 1.8M–2.2M
Vice President  1.1M–1.7M
Assistant Vice President  720K–1M
Associate 380K–680K
Analyst  240K–380K

Management Reporting / Financial Planning & Analysis
Managing Director 2M+
Director 1.4M–1.8M
Vice President  840K–1.4M
Assistant Vice President  600K–780K
Associate 320K–560K
Analyst  240K–380K

Product Control
Managing Director 2M+
Director 1.5M–1.8M
Vice President  900K–1.5M
Assistant Vice President  600K–900K
Associate  420K–540K
Analyst  300K–420K

Regulatory Reporting / Financial Accounting
Managing Director 2M+
Director 1.4M–1.8M
Vice President 840K–1.4M
Assistant Vice President 540K–780K
Associate 260K–500K
Analyst  240K–380K

Tax
Managing Director 2.2M+
Director 1.7M–2M+
Vice President 960K–1.6M
Assistant Vice President 540K–900K
Associate 400K–540K
Analyst  220K–360K

Operations (Settlements / Corporate Actions / Treasury) 
Managing Director 1.8M+
Director 1.2M–1.8M
Vice President  660K–1.2M
Assistant Vice President  480K–720K
Associate  360K–500K
Analyst  240K–390K

Operations (Client On-Boarding / KYC Operations) 
Managing Director 1.8M+
Director 1.4M–1.8M
Vice President  780K–1.3M
Assistant Vice President  600K–800K
Associate  400K–580K
Analyst  260K–420K

Middle Office (Trade Support / Sales Support / Client Services)
Managing Director 1.8M+
Director 1.4M–1.8M
Vice President  900K–1.4M
Assistant Vice President  620K–900K
Associate  420K–620K
Analyst  265K–420K

Project Management
Managing Director 2M+
Director 1.4M–1.8M
Vice President  960K–1.5M
Assistant Vice President  720K–960K
Associate  480K–700K
Analyst  360K–470K

Credit Risk
Managing Director 2M+
Director 1.5M–1.8M
Vice President  800K–1.4M
Assistant Vice President  500K–800K
Associate  360K–600K
Analyst  240K–360K

Market Risk
Managing Director 2.2M+
Director 1.7M–2M
Vice President  960K–1.6M
Assistant Vice President  600K–900K
Associate  420K–600K
Analyst  240K–420K

Operational Risk / Internal Control
Managing Director 2M+
Director 1.5M–1.8M
Vice President  900K–1.5M
Assistant Vice President 600K–900K
Associate 360K–600K
Analyst  240K–380K
   

Private Banking, Asset / Fund Management & other Financial Services

Job title Annual salary range (HK$)
Operations
Director 1.2M+
Senior Manager 720K–1.1M
Manager 580K–720K
Assistant Manager 500K–600K
Officer / Senior Officer 360K–520K

Regulatory Reporting / Financial Accounting
Director 1.2M+
Senior Manager 720K–1.1M
Manager 540K–720K
Assistant Manager 450K - 520K
Officer / Senior Officer  200K–420K

Management Reporting / Financial Planning & Analysis
Director 1.2M+
Senior Manager 720K–1M
Manager 560K–720K
Assistant Manager 450K–550K
Officer / Senior Officer  240K - 460K

Internal Audit / Risk
Director 1.4M+
Senior Manager 780K–1.3M
Manager 540K–780K
Assistant Manager 360K–540K
Officer / Senior Officer 240K–380K

Compliance
Director 1.4M+
Senior Manager 780K–1.3M
Manager 540K–780K
Assistant Manager 360K–540K
Officer / Senior Officer  240K–380K


Insurance

Job title Annual salary range (HK$)
Operations
Director 1.1M+
Senior Manager 680K–1M
Manager 480K–660K
Assistant Manager 350K–500K
Officer / Senior Officer 216K–330K

Regulatory Reporting / Financial Accounting
Director 1.2M+
Senior Manager 660K–1.1M
Manager 480K–660K
Assistant Manager 350K–500K
Officer / Senior Officer  150K–350K

Management Reporting / Financial Planning & Analysis
Director 1.2M+
Senior Manager 780K–1.1M
Manager 540K–720K
Assistant Manager 480K - 530K
Officer / Senior Officer 220K–400K

Tax
Director 1.4M+
Senior Manager 750K–1.3M
Manager 540K–720K
Assistant Manager 360K–480K
Officer / Senior Officer 200K–360K

Internal Audit / Risk
Director 1.4M+
Senior Manager 780K–1.3M
Manager 540K–780K
Assistant Manager 360K–540K
Officer / Senior Officer 240K–360K

Compliance
Director 1.4M+
Senior Manager 780K–1.3M
Manager 480K–780K
Assistant Manager 360K–540K
Officer / Senior Officer 240K–360K

 

*Notes about salary table:

  1. Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
  2. The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
  3. 12-month base salaries are assumed.
  4. All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.
  5. Bonus ranges can vary significantly from company to company and will be influenced by market conditions, business and individual performances. Bonus ranges from 1 month at the low end to 100%+ at the upper.
  6. Holiday entitlements range from 1225 days with senior executives not usually receiving less than 18 days. Less than 15 is very rare and 20 days is becoming the norm.
  7. Healthcare policies are standard.
  8. Pension plans vary with some companies offering greater than the standard contribution. Top up schemes can increase employer contribution levels as much as 1520% of the base salary for senior executives.