Dec 2, 2010

Transaction banking recruitment in China is on the rise

It may not be the most glamorous part of financial services, but transaction banking is seeing plenty of hiring in China...

Foreign firms like BNP Paribas have been preparing new product lines and transaction banking has also become a growth sector for local commercial banks such as China Minsheng Banking, which is developing new trade financing solutions.

The likes of UOB, Chinese Mercantile Bank and JP Morgan are hiring for roles ranging from regional heads to analysts and traders, as well as product mangers specializing in electronic delivery channels.

Cherol Cheuk, director, banking and financial services, Hudson, says the post-financial crisis need for more stable banking revenues, and increases in imports and exports, have helped cause the surge in transaction banking recruitment.

Rising demand from large companies for better cash management and the volatility of the forex markets are other key reasons.

Although there is a skill shortage, “most talents are in the traditional trade business. But this is not the most profitable product now for banks unless you have good global network,” says Cheuk.

Banks are moving relationship managers into transaction banking in order to fix the shortfall. Most RMs welcome this career change because some of their skills are transferable and there is potential for better work life balance, adds Cheuk.

Stephen He, senior consultant, banking and finance, Consult Group, says staff are needed both for global transactions and for domestic small to medium-sized enterprises.

The typical monthly base salary range at VP-level in transaction banking at a foreign bank in China is 40k yuan to 50k yuan. Bonuses vary between about three to 10 months.

And what percentage compensation increment would you get for changing jobs in transaction banking? A big one, according to Cheuk. “Top talent can get at least a 50 per cent increase in their total package. We have handled some with 80 to 90 per cent increases.”