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Is banking’s dry spell over?

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The local finance and banking sector may finally be looking to expand their headcount, but the good news could be limited to a few business units.

Banks based in Singapore are looking to hire this year, but mostly within the units of corporate and consumer banking and compliance, The Straits Times reported.

Stella Tang, director of Robert Half Singapore, said banks may hire more intensively in the second half of 2013 if the economy picks up. She added banks are looking for experienced professionals who are able to hit the ground running by generating revenue and bringing on new clients.

However, back end roles such as IT and accounting are not as lucky this year, as more banks are moving these functions offshore to India and the Philippines to cut costs.

Local and international banks Human Resources contacted were not able to comment at press time, citing confidentiality issues.

Adam Faulkner, director of Michael Page Singapore, said there are still generally more candidates than jobs available, and he often meets professionals who are unemployed because they have been laid off from a previous role.

“There are many instances where they’ve been looking for an extended period. And these are good-quality people, not people who made mistakes at their jobs,” Faulkner told ST.

Tang added 8% of finance and banking professionals who have approached her firm in the last three months had been retrenched, but said this figure is still lower than those reported in 2008 and 2009.

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