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    Mar 12, 2014

    Finance execs get pay boost in hiring boom

    THOSE looking to join the compliance and anti-money laundering divisions in the banking and financial services sector here can expect big salaries this year.

    According to recruitment firm Robert Half's 2014 Asia Salary Guide, entry-level analysts in the sector can earn up to $75,000 this year.

    This is a year-on-year increase of 19 per cent, which is the largest salary increase out of three sectors of employment examined by the recruitment firm in its guide, which was done in partnership with the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (Isca).

    The sectors are: banking and financial services, finance and accounting, and technology.

    The guide is based on actual placements and information gleaned from Robert Half's senior managers as well as a survey of chief-level executives. In Singapore, they spoke to more than 400 of such executives.

    Senior vice-presidents or managing directors working in the compliance and anti-money laundering division can earn from $220,000 a year to half a million dollars a year.

    The high salaries for this division, particularly for the entry-level positions, are due to the increase in regulation by the authorities, said Isca's president, Mr Ernest Kan. This is especially so after the global financial crisis.

    "As regulations increase and grow in complexity, the demand for talent to ensure compliance will intensify," said OCBC Bank's head of group legal and regulatory compliance, Ms Loretta Yuen.

    Mr Wong Keng Fye, head of human capital at Maybank Singapore, said his bank has increased the number of staff in the compliance and anti-money laundering division by 13 per cent in the past year.

    Hot jobs in the finance and accounting sector include auditors working within the internal audit division in large firms, who can earn up to $110,000.

    The guide also showed that hiring was most rampant for the finance and accounting industry here, with Singapore coming in as the fourth most active in the world, based on 17 countries surveyed.

    Forty-five per cent of companies here will expand the number of finance and accounting professionals on their payroll, while 53 per cent will merely refill vacated positions in the first six months of this year. The remaining 2 per cent will freeze job hiring.