Career Advice Job Market Trend Report

Switch to stability

Karl Franzmann, associate director, Page Executive in Hong Kong

Regulators and investors continue to demand that banks run their business while reducing the perceived financial and reputational risk of a cyclical investment banking business. Global universal banks and European banks have switched focus from investment banking practices to the perceived stability of a commercial banking model. Supporting trade flows, business lending and optimising company capital use is a stable return on capital for banks.

As banks compete for business, relationship management teams have grown. Despite being highly sought-after, client-facing commercial banking relationship managers typically receive salary raises of less than 10 per cent year-on-year because of the deep talent pool. For more specialist departments, such as trade finance, higher compensation - up to 50 per cent on salary and bonus - plus international transfers can be offered.

European and Australian firms boosting their presence in Asia by setting up in Hong Kong are attracting talent. But US banks do not seem focused on retaining staff, possibly as restructuring continues in these larger firms.

Karl Franzmann, associate director, Page Executive in Hong Kong