Singapore banking giants challenge global firing trends

by Miklos Bolza12 Feb 2016
Singapore’s three biggest banks – DBS, OCBC and UOB – are continuing to grow; bucking global hiring trends which have seen major international banks cut thousands of jobs in recent times.
 
“In Singapore, some of the areas we have been hiring for include retail banking, wealth management, as well as key support functions such as technology and operations, finance, risk and compliance,” a DBS spokesperson told TODAY.
 
In spite of global economic uncertainty, DBS was still seeking an increased headcount as it was “well-positioned to navigate the challenges with solid business fundamentals and resilient franchise,” she added.
 
DBS is now focused on bringing in employees with technology and digital skills as it continues to grow in digital development.
 
“As part of our workforce planning to meet changing organisational needs, we are hiring more UX (user experience) designers, coders, engineers and data analysts as the bank moves to meet the growing needs of our customers,” the spokesperson said.
 
TODAY also spoke to Jenny Wong, the head of group HR at UOB, and Jacinta Low, the head of HR planning at OCBC.
 
“We take a long-term view on the potential of the region beyond the uncertainties of today. We remain on the look-out for like-minded individuals,” Wong said.
 
“We continue to plan our recruitment activities for the different divisions in the bank in line with our identified areas of growth,” said Low.
 
Over 20 per cent of OCBC’s annual vacancies are filled internally, she added, aligning recruitment with the firm’s people management and development strategies.
 
This positive outlook flies in the face of the larger international banks which have announced major redundancies. In January, Barclays said it would cut 1,000 jobs from its global workforce – a move which also affected the Singapore office.
 
Earlier in February, Credit Suisse announced it would cut 4,000 jobs while last year both Standard Chartered and HSBC said they would slash global staff numbers by 15,000 and 50,000 respectively.
 
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