Bank hires in Singapore surge amid HK concerns

Business | Agencies and staff reporter 22 Dec 2020

International financial institutions are actively recruiting people in Singapore and reducing staffing levels in Hong Kong, on concerns over Beijing's national security law, The Financial Times reported.

The UK newspaper conducted a survey of LinkedIn data this month, which found the number of UBS and JPMorgan job openings in Singapore was eight times those in Hong Kong, while Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Citibank were offering more than double the number of jobs in Singapore than in Hong Kong.

The report cited an investment bank executive as saying there was a low-key effort to increase its headcount in Singapore, where investment firms have traditionally had fewer employees - a move to spread the risks given the geopolitical situation. Citibank said the two cities were regional hubs with a mix of businesses run from both offices, adding it will continue to hire in key areas to support clients in both markets. Other banks declined to comment.

Recruitment firm Hudson and Michael Page said 15 to 20 percent of their business this year involved helping financial groups move roles from Hong Kong to Singapore, the report said.

The national security law has also forced technology firms to reconsider their presence in Hong Kong.

South Korea's internet giant Naver has moved backup servers storing its users' personal data in Hong Kong to Singapore. US tech giants like Facebook, Alphabet's Google and Twitter suspended processing government requests for user data in Hong Kong following China's imposition of the national security law.

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