Hiring in Southeast Asian Banking and Finance Sector Remains Weak

As market volatility continues across the APAC region, online recruitment action in the Banking and Finance Sector continues to fall annually in Singapore and Malaysia.

The pace of online recruitment in the Banking and Finance Sector (BFSI) is steadily declining across Southeast Asia, as banks and financial institutions continue to trim headcounts amid poor economic conditions.

This is according to the latest Monster Employment Index (MEI) for December 2015, which measures online job hiring activity monthly, recording the industries and occupations that show the highest and lowest growth in recruitment activity in Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines.

Singapore and Malaysia weaker

Across these three markets, the Philippines reported the strongest annual growth in the sector at 6% year-over-year for December, up from November’s -3% year-over-year decline. The sector emerged as the country’s top growth industry, and is also the only sector registering positive annual growth.

The story is far more negative in Singapore and Malaysia. Malaysia recorded a -29% year-over-year decline in online hiring in the BFSI sector – making it the only market to register a double-digit annual decline.

In Singapore, the sector registered a -3% year-over-year decline in December, a slight improvement from last month’s -5% year-over-year decline, but still a negative trend overall. The sector is still among the top growth industries in Singapore.

Regulations pressuring expansion

When it comes to the recruitment of the Finance and Accounts professionals, all three markets registered negative growth between December 2014 and 2015. Despite this, the demand for Finance and Account roles has once again emerged as top growth occupational groups in Malaysia and the Philippines.

«While there could still be overall growth in the finance sector moving forward, what we have been seeing is a rapid decline of online recruitment in key support functions and investment banking roles. Tighter regulations and squeezed margins for global banks continues to prompt jobs cuts and retrenchments, particularly in Malaysia and Singapore,» said Sanjay Modi, Managing Director, Monster.com (India, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong).

The Monster Employment Index is a monthly gauge of online job posting activity, based on a real-time review of millions of employer job opportunities culled from a large representative selection of career websites and online job listings. The Index does not reflect the trend of any one advertiser or source, but is an aggregate measure of the change in job listings across the industry.

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