Demand for skilled candidates in risk and compliance remains high despite a recent spate of job cuts at global banks, according to recruitment firm Randstad.
This rise in demand largely stems from the growing complexity of Singapore’s regulatory environment. In particular, employers are aggressively recruiting talented individuals in specialist roles focused on regulation, policy development and assessing and mitigating risk.
Randstad’s Associate Director for Banking and Financial Services, Ms Lim Chaileng, said that the strong demand for candidates in risk and compliance is not likely to taper off any time soon, and expects they will be the most sought-after professionals in the industry throughout 2016.
“Over the past year, we have seen a 20 per cent increase in the demand for risk and compliance professionals, with banks in Singapore doubling the size of their compliance teams in recent years to service this new regulatory environment.
“As Singapore takes steps to create a Smart Financial Centre, there will be a raft of new initiatives resulting in increased regulation. At the same time, increased competition is leading to greater consolidation in banking operations and potentially more mergers and acquisitions, so the demand for these professionals is expected to soar.
“Risk and compliance specialists are expected to witness a greater increase in their average salary compared to their general banking colleagues, as the big banks pull out all the stops in a bid to retain and attract them,” said Ms Lim.
Across the board, banking and finance industry professionals can expect to see a salary increase of 3 to 5 per cent next year, with the average bonus in the vicinity of two to three months’ salary, according to Randstad.
“The Operations function, including Know Your Customer (KYC) and on-boarding roles, will see the greatest demand for fresh graduates, while sales relationship managers will be future-proofed in the years to come with the need for customer interface unlikely to disappear any time soon,” said Ms Lim.
However, the news is not so good for back office settlements roles, as these jobs are increasingly offshored to countries such as India, the Philippines and Malaysia, or outsourced to a third party.
Ms Lim added that technology will continue to play a large role in the changing face of the banking and finance industry in the coming years. Traditional banking products and solutions are on the way out, so banks are now looking for digitally savvy candidates with exposure to innovative banking solutions.
“We expect that over the next one to five years we will see a growing demand for sales people who are comfortable with interacting with clients on digital platforms, risk managers to assess and mitigate risk across technology platforms and innovation drivers to help banks get ahead of the competition,” said Ms Lim.