Laid-Off Expat Bankers Struggle to Find Jobs in Hong Kong

Posted by Ed 22 mths ago

For years, Hong Kong was a hotspot with plum jobs for overseas bankers as global firms hired aggressively. But many recently laid-off bankers in the city are finding that cost-cutting and a demand for Mandarin speakers have diminished the opportunities for expats in Asia’s financial hub.

After Deutsche Bank AG announced plans for wide-ranging cuts this week, many employees worldwide are facing the challenge of job-hunting in a shrinking market. For foreign staff losing positions in Hong Kong, it could be harder than most.

Other international firms such as Nomura Holdings Inc. have also cut jobs in Hong Kong. At the same time, the city’s famously expensive living costs, including some of the world’s highest rents, mean that even senior bankers need to find new jobs fast in order to stay.

The upshot? Expat bankers who lost their jobs and want to remain in Hong Kong often have to consider lower-paying options or demotions. Some with longer-running ties to the city are looking at switching careers, weighing everything from consulting to cryptocurrency outfits.

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Ed 22 mths ago
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Ed 22 mths ago
Deutsche Bank job cuts are just tip of iceberg for finance industry 
A number of banks are doomed to fail if they don't adapt to the new realities of the finance industry, says IMD Business School's Arturo Bris.
LAUSANNE: Deutsche Bank caused a recent stir with the seemingly sudden announcement that it would cut 18,000 jobs – one fifth of its global staff.

It is part of a reorganisation designed to return the bank to its core business of corporate banking, private banking and asset management. Most of the job losses will be in the global equity traders and investment banking division.

Some may read the bank’s problems as the result of a bad strategy, bad execution, bad luck, or a combination of these three.

I, however, think that the German bank’s problems reflect the profound transformations currently taking place in the financial industry in general, and in investment banking especially.

Let me start by saying that the value of the financial industry is not easy to justify in terms of social and economic benefits. It is true that banks perform a useful function of redistributing financial risk, allocating capital and providing credit. But there are too many banks, and what is even worse, there are too many bankers.

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Ed 21 mths ago
Hong Kong’s stockbrokers face a bleak second half as job cuts loom
  • The average daily turnover of the stock market shrank 23 per cent in July from last year to HK$68.7 billion (US$8.76 billion), while IPO also fell this year
  • The total commission income for the industry was down by about HK$40 million in June and July compared with a year earlier, brokers estimate

Hong Kong’s stockbroking industry is making an early entry into a bleak winter, as daily transactions and fundraising shrank amid the combination of a year-long US-China trade war with unprecedented civil unrest.

The industry, comprising 27,327 licensed traders in 594 firms, is likely to shrink by at least 10 per cent, beginning with back-office support staff, research and administrative clerks, according to the head of the industry guild.

“Facing shrinking income, brokerage firms have no choice but to cut some people, and I know some firms have laid off almost 10 per cent of their staff already,” said Tom Chan Pak-lam, chairman of the Institute of Securities Dealers. “This is just the beginning. If the protests continue in the rest of this year, more lay-off will come.” 

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Ed 21 mths ago
Nearly 30,000 investment-banking jobs are on the chopping board this year as the global banking industry looks set for a gloomy second half of 2019.

The Financial Times reported that most of the cuts have been in European banks, with Deutsche Bank making up a large portion of the layoffs after last month’s overhaul.

But American banks such as Citigroup are also struggling as falling interest rates, along with increased use of automation and AI, have hit investment banking jobs.

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