Second only to the tech sector, financial services job openings with up to 40% higher salaries and benefits had been advertised

An newly released industry report on hiring trends in the world’s leading financial services cities has concluded that the sector is “one of the fastest hiring industries post-pandemic” (after the tech sector), based on the 64% increase in the number of job roles advertised across eight major hubs: Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney.

For the Asia Pacific region, three cities with high levels of financial services talent in the past 12 months were identified as Singapore (250,000), Sydney (167,364), and Tokyo (166,000+).

While New York (48,595), London (38,945), and Paris (24,165) continued to dominate on the hiring front by having the greatest number of advertised job roles, APAC was cited as having the best conditions for hiring, with professionals in Sydney (81%), Singapore (76%), Hong Kong (67%), and Tokyo (60%) all expressing a high level of willingness to leave their role despite this being the tightest candidate market seen in decades. 

Other data highlighted include:

General trends in the past year

  • 64% global growth of job roles in financial services
  • Tripling of senior-level recruitments in financial services since the start of the pandemic
  • 40% pay increases were offered for remote roles to tackle global talent shortage
  • Two in three APAC banking professionals were actively looking to move job roles, while 76% in Singapore were considering moving jobs in 2022

Last year’s jobs growth numbers by city

  • London: +101%
  • New York: +78%
  • Tokyo: +77%
  • Singapore: +76%

Job growth by region

  • Europe: +62%
  • APAC: +61%
  • North America: +60%

Toby Fowlston, CEO, Robert Walters, the firm issuing the report, noted: “Whilst the pandemic did not have the expected harmful financial effects on the global banking industry, it has certainly accelerated change in a multitude of other areas. Digital banking boomed whilst cash use fell, savings expanded and credit card debts were paid-off in record time, remote-working became a way of working, data-capture and usage is a central business function, and environment and sustainability are now front of mind for customers and regulators. All of this change has led to exponential hiring in the sector, with each hub trying to fight for the same talent at the same time, the results being a fiercely competitive recruitment market like we’ve never seen before, with execs being offered over +30–40% pay increases with the option to work from anywhere in the world.”

Asia leading the way in gender diversity
The financial services sector in Asia was noted for having the most gender diversity: Singapore (46%) had near 50/50 gender diversity, while for Hong Kong, women made up 44% of the banking workforce.

New York (36%) and London (36%) lagged slightly behind in gender diversity, while continuing to make strides in cultural, racial, and socio-economic diversity, with many firms having advanced recruitment programs to ensure their workforce is representative of the diverse population of the city they are based in.

The next 12 months
Based on the data used for the report, the firm is expecting significant increases in hiring within the fintech payment services in Singapore as global travel and overseas tourism resume. More financial services firms will need to hire professionals skilled in both technology and operations.

In Singapore, compliance talent will be in high demand as new fintech and digital banking businesses open and start drawing talent away from more traditional banking and fund management sectors. According to Robert Walters Singapore’s Financial Services manager Priya Gupta: “Key challenges for companies would be the tighter employment rules in a candidate-short market, and a greater desire from employees for more flexible ways of working. To secure the talent needed, we advise financial services firms to recruit quickly, streamline hiring processes, emphasize overall candidate experience, and be flexible and pragmatic in their approach to hiring.”