Shocked by London, bored by Singapore, expats return to Hong Kong

Posted by Ed 11 days ago 
It's a new season in Hong Kong. The scrapping of quarantine rules for locally based airline staff in Hong Kong on September 10 comes as expats bankers are returning to the city.
Hong Kong’s draconian Covid 19 rules prompted thousands of people to leave permanently or to relocate temporarily to more accessible locations, but for many expat bankers the relaxation of rules is proving the catalyst for a return.
Travellers from outside mainland China are still required to quarantine for three days upon arrival, but it’s a vast improvement on the more draconian measures that have been a feature of the last two and half years. “The easing of restrictions is encouraging expat bankers to return. The authorities listened to the banks when they said they would leave,” reflects a banker at one western firm.
The pandemic along with geopolitical tensions, has prompted a re-think by banks about how they staff the Asia-Pacific regions. Many have become willing to cast their recruitment net wider, especially as working practices have shifted to a more hybrid model.
Some banks have hired regional heads in other locations like Sydney and Singapore where they have grown their presence. But long-serving bankers in Hong Kong who have argued that the expat exodus would be temporary are feeling vindicated.
“If anything, people are returning now,” said the senior banker, who said that a member of his team had returned with his family to Hong Kong nine months after moving back to London. “The main reason is quality of life. They have club membership and servants in Hong Kong, while in London they had a rude awakening.” 

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