HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Bankers' salaries could rise by up to 5%

But expect hiring levels to slow down as the firms integrate IT into their systems.

Professionals in the banking & financial services sector can expect 3-5% increments in salary, Robert Walters Plc revealed in their salary survey.

However, hiring levels were only moderate as product control functions continued to be moved offshore. Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) also resulted in slower hiring.

Employers remained focused on hiring value-add technical professionals with niche skills for new roles as opposed to generalist positions. The firm expects the trend to continue in 2018

Professionals moving jobs externally saw their salaries increase by 10-15%, and this is expected to continue.

In the risk sector, cost-cutting slowed down companies' hiring levels. However, demand was high for mid to senior-level candidates in operational risk.

Average salary increments of 3-5% are expected to continue in 2018.

RW also saw an increase in demand for contracting roles in 2017. Contracts lasted from three months to two years on average.

"Candidates were more open to contracting opportunities to broaden their corporate exposure," RW said.

Meanwhile, internal audit companies focused on cutting costs in 2017, causing the job market to remain modest.

There was an increase in successful internal transfers, and many roles were sourced directly.

Some candidates received 3-5% YoY increments, but some also took pay cut between 5-10% to secure a position they wanted.

Increase in demand for IT auditors specialising in both infrastructure and applications. RW expects higher demand for candidates with a mixture of business and audit experience, so they can switch between roles.

Meanwhile, the compliance job market is slower than last year due to banks controlling their costs.

Structural changes due to increased consolidation in the asset management market meant very few companies were hiring in 2017. The slow recruitment is expected to expand up to 2018.

But as Singapore remains committed to having a robust financial regulatory regime, banks are expected to strengthen their Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) functions next year.

Demand for local talent proficient in the said areas is set to be high.

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