BOTH job seekers and employers in the local financial services industry are less optimistic about the hiring outlook for the sector as more jobs are being shifted overseas, a new survey has found.
Astbury Marsden, a financial services recruitment firm, found that 46 per cent of employers and 50 per cent of job candidates polled were less optimistic about the job market over the coming year.
The firm had polled 92 financial services employers and 332 candidates.
Its “optimism index” revealed a change in sentiment over the last quarter, with the index for candidate confidence falling from 50.5 in the middle of the year to 39.4 at the end of the third quarter.
A score of 50 or higher indicates positive sentiment on jobs.
Singapore’s fast-growing position as a financial services hub had led to a boom in jobs in the back and middle offices of global investment banks over the last decade, Astbury Marsden noted.
However, over the past two years in particular, back and middle office jobs have been moved from Singapore to lower- cost centres in India and the Philippines.
Jobs being offshored from Singapore include finance, technology and operational roles.
Astbury Marsden’s Asia Pacific managing director Mark O’Reilly said: “The offshoring of jobs out of Singapore is undoubtedly acting as a drag on sentiment. Although this process has been going on for a few years, 2013 saw acceleration in the number of international banks relocating roles to other countries.”
Financial services recruitment here, however, is still strong for roles that deal with regulations and compliance, he added.
Sub-sectors such as wealth management, driven by rapidly growing wealth in South-East Asia, are also expected to continue to thrive, he said.