Career Advice Job Market Trend Report

Foreign banks may cut jobs

Banking and Finance

The Hong Kong banking industry is large in scale, established and a key global hub. As a result, there will always be opportunities for talented banking professionals.

Asia, in particular, has been more resilient than Europe and the US of late, as a consequence of strong demand in China, and regional growth.

A slowdown in Hong Kong’s financial services sector has been seen this year, in line with trends within the global marketplace. This has resulted in some reductions in headcounts for large financial services firms, and in particular a reduction in executive-level staff. For junior to middle management roles, the market has continued to tick along as those with risk, compliance and audit experience continue to be in demand.

Some European and US banks with a Hong Kong presence have responded to the global environment with careful decisions about headcounts. Some of the Asian banks, in contrast, are still in early growth phases and are hiring aggressively.

Some banks may implement a hiring freeze for a particular period of time to control headcount globally, and even “business critical” roles may be affected. Others are now only looking to hire what they categorise as “the best fit” for individual roles.

Sharmini Thomas, regional director, Michael Page International
As told to Chiu Po-sze