Middle office talent is anticipated to be in-demand, especially in functions like credit risk managers, as banks seek to tighten policies ahead of the potential recession.
Regulations around crypto, a boom in digital banking, and traction in Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) transactions - these are three big trends to watch out for in Singapore's banking & financial services (BFS) industry in 2023.
This is per Randstad's 2023 Job Market & Salary Trends Report in Singapore, which features a market overview for high-growth industries. For this article, we zero in on the banking & financial services sector, which, in 2021, contributed S$73.75bn to the nation's GDP (GDP of the finance and insurance industry).
Trends impacting talent needs in the BFS sector
Crypto will see measured growth as regulations tighten
Investments in Singapore's cryptocurrency and blockchain sector hit a record high of S$1.48bn in 2021. But 2022's crypto meltdown, along with tightening regulations, will spell slower growth for the sector in 2023. MAS has introduced a slew of regulations to safeguard retail investors, such as guidelines around advertising to the general public. Such regulations strike a fine balance between providing a safety net for retail investors and encouraging crypto firms to scale up, with consideration for all aspects of risk.
Digital banking is set for a boom
Digital banks debuted in quick succession in 2022, in preparation for their launch of full-scale services in 2023. However, the real competition is yet to be seen. Traditional banks are stepping up efforts with innovative features like online wealth management, as well as making interest rates more attractive. There are also new entrants from the tech sector. However, digital banks may face challenges in winning the trust of customers who are hesitant to change the way they manage their finances.
BNPL is gaining traction
The market share of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) transactions remains vastly smaller than other payment methods in Singapore, accounting for less than 0.5% of credit and debit card payments in 2021. Yet the segment is growing in niche areas like travel. Looking ahead, too many BNPL players would mean thinner margins, and companies may have to implement cost-control measures. However, these providers will urgently need to invest in talent for digital marketing and risk management.
In-demand roles in the banking and finance sector for 2023
While employers may hire more conservatively, the hiring market remains a vibrant and competitive one. Continuous hiring is expected across front-office roles. These include:
- Wealth managers, both onshore and offshore,
- Private bankers, especially those specialising in the fast-growing Greater China and North Asia markets,
- Specialised lending bankers in project finance and structured financing to support the continuation of public works and infrastructure projects,
- SME banking professionals to ramp up client outreach and engagement during the anticipated recession.
Middle office talent is also anticipated to be in demand, especially in functions like:
- Credit risk managers, as global credit risks rise and banks seek to tighten policies ahead of the recession,
- Internal auditors to safeguard compliance with evolving regulations and frameworks,
- Operational risk managers to ensure business continuity in times of crisis.
To handle an influx of family offices in Singapore, family offices and venture capital firms will be seeking:
- Portfolio managers and investor relations managers with strong networks to bring in new funds,
- Research analysts who can do research on equity, fixed income, crypto, and alternative financing solutions.
As fintechs and digital banks strive to carve out market share in Singapore, they will need tech talent such as:
- Digital product owners, since innovative products are the key to gaining a competitive edge,
- Risk managers in credit risk, portfolio risk, technology risk, and cybersecurity,
- Software engineers and developers who can ramp up their platform’s digital capabilities.
Salary snapshot of BFS roles
The following are the salary ranges for roles in Singapore's BFS industry across junior, mid, and senior roles:
The figures listed below are all in SG$ and based on a basic monthly salary of a permanent role (not including AWS or fixed/variable bonus).
- [senior] Relationship manager (offshore/onshore): > $10,000
- [senior] Private banker: > $25,000
- [senior] Investment advisory: > $15,000
- [mid] Client acquisition manager (retail & SME): $6,500 - $9,000
- [mid] Investment analyst: $10,000 - $15,000
- [mid] Credit risk and control: $8,000 - $16,000
- [junior] Compliance/internal audit/operations risk: $6,000 - $8,000
- [junior] Securities operations: $4,000 - $7,000
- [junior] Risk analytics: $6,000 - $9,000
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