This is what your private banking salary and bonus should be in Singapore

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This is what your private banking salary and bonus should be in Singapore

Private banks in Singapore continue to add relationship managers to their headcounts to serve the needs of Asia’s growing population of millionaires and billionaires.

Deutsche Bank, for example, plans to continue adding senior headcount to its private bank in Singapore and across Asia in 2022, having hired a number of experienced relationship managers this year. OCBC said in November 2021 that wants to “strengthen” its private banking capabilities, which suggests more hiring is on the cards at its Bank of Singapore unit.

Credit Suisse took on 50 RMs in the first half of 2021 alone, including in Singapore. BNP Paribas has also been an active recruiter in 2021, having poached several RMs from Standard Chartered. Meanwhile, banks such as UBS and JP Morgan are expanding their China desks in Singapore, as demand surges for bankers with mainland networks and Mandarin language skills.

With all this hiring going on, you may be wondering whether your current private banking salary in Singapore is above or below par. To help you decide, we've averaged out minimum and maximum base salary data from several recruitment firms to produce the table below. And we’ve done this across five broad levels of seniority (job titles in private banking differ from firm to firm – some include the term “director” within ranks two to four, while others prefer “VP”). There’s also a table at the bottom of this article for private banking bonuses in Singapore.

How much do private bankers earn as salaries in Singapore?

If you start your private banking career as an assistant relationship manager in Singapore – essentially a trainee role – don’t expect to earn much money. Assistant RMs earn a maximum average salary of S$94k. This rises dramatically once you become a fully-fledged private banker (i.e with your own client book) in Singapore. Associate directors in Singaporean private banking are paid salaries of up to S$187k, and directors take home S$298k in base pay.

Base salaries for executive directors at private banks in Singapore can be as high as S$408k, while Singapore-based managing directors are paid at least S$410k (most would earn more than this).

The salaries of newly hired private bankers in Singapore are typically tied to the proportion of their current clients’ AUM they can bring to the new bank, says former private banker Liu San Li, who now works as a recruiter. “Only EDs and MDs are able to get high increments that are not necessarily tied to AUM commitments,” he adds. “Hiring a senior private banker is like striking the jackpot, so getting them recruited is more important that negotiating AUM.”

Salaries for private bankers in Singapore (SGD)

How much do private bankers in Singapore earn as bonuses?

Your private banking bonus percentage in Singapore depends more on which type of bank you work for than how senior you are – although MDs are more likely to receive bonuses at the maximum level for their firm than AVPs are (and their larger salaries will ensure a higher actual bonus payment).

As the bonus table below shows, UBS and Credit Suisse, Asia’s largest private banks by assets, offer the smallest bonus percentages. Your total bonus figure at these firms is likely to be competitive, however. “There are RMs at UBS and CS who produce much higher revenues than they would elsewhere because they have more options in each product category and have tier-one product support and platforms,” says a former private banker in Singapore. “This can collectively lead to more revenue generated to compensate for a lower bonus ratio.”

Bonuses for private bankers in Singapore 

Photo by Victor He on Unsplash

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