It currently has about 392 job vacancies in Singapore and 339 in Hong Kong, but what are the best Asian teams to apply to at Standard Chartered right now? The bank’s recently released Half Year Report 2018 provides some clues.
While Asia dominates Stan Chart’s business as a whole (the region contributes almost 80% of profits for H2), some Asian jobs at the bank are hotter than others. Here’s a selection.
Technologists in “virtual banking” in Hong Kong
Virtual banking is among the hottest new job functions at Stan Chart. The firm announced in June that is applying for a virtual bank licence in Hong Kong, allowing it to set up a separate, purely online bank without physical branches. Although about 50 companies have expressed interest in applying to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to operate a virtual bank, Stan Chart is the only mainstream bank among a host of fintech players. The HKMA could allow virtual banks to open as soon as early next year, and we understand that Stan Chart has established a new team of technologists to work on its virtual business.
Technologists working with fintech firms
Stan Chart has clearly embraced the trend of banking technologists working with fintech firms rather than against them. “We are currently working with over fifty fintech companies – from small start-ups to the biggest platforms – to transform our ability to serve our clients digitally,” CEO Bill Winters wrote in his introduction to the bank’s H2 results. “Our recently announced partnership with Ant Financial, part of the Alibaba Group, is one example of this.”
Client due diligence technology in Singapore
Client due diligence professionals have long been in demand in Singapore as banks face more onerous onboarding regulations for new clients, particularly within wealth management. Stan Chart, though, has also been putting its technologists to work to automate aspects of “individual client due diligence in Singapore”, according to its H2 report.
Capital markets in China
As China continues to liberalise its financial markets, Stan Chart claims that its bankers are well positioned to take advantage. “We have been active in the opening of China’s capital markets, helping overseas investors do business through channels such as Bond Connect, Stock Connect and the Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor initiative.”
Belt and Road
Like its chief rivals HSBC and Citi, Stan Chart is keen on building its Belt and Road business. “…our priorities are those radiating from China in Asia, and along the Belt and Road Initiative routes connecting China with our markets in Africa and the Middle East”.
Is the financial markets team at Stan Chart (dominated by foreign exchange, rates and commodities) now in the ascendancy? It appears so, according to the bank’s earnings report. “Although our improving league table positions in financial markets are not yet evident in our financial results, clients are offering us an increasing share of their business, boding well for future financial improvement.”
Financial crime compliance
As we’ve been reporting this year, banks in Singapore and Hong Kong have been building up their financial crime compliance (FCC) teams. Given the importance of Asia to its business, Stan Chart’s FCC operations are among the largest in the region and the function was singled out by Bill Winters for mention in his H2 report introduction. Stan Chart has increased its FCC headcount seven-fold since 2012. “We are investing in new machine-learning technologies that will enable us to evaluate vast quantities of data quickly and to finetune the accuracy of our financial crime surveillance tools,” Winters wrote in the report.
Private banking isn’t an obvious selection for this list, given that the unit posted a loss before tax of $5m for the first half. However, income increased by 12%, the business added $1.6bn net new money over the past 12 months, assets under management were $5bn higher, and Stan Chart started to regain private banking market share in Singapore “lost over the past decade”. Rising expenses in the division help to explain its losses, but we understand from headhunters in Singapore that these costs were partly because of new hiring. Stan Chart has been rebuilding its private banking business in Asia since 2016.
The less glamorous cousin of private banking, Stan Chart’s Asia-focused priority banking team (serving mass-affluent customers) nevertheless added more than 18,000 new priority clients over the 12 months to June 30.
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