Malaysia’s banking sector on recruitment spree

The need to comply with a raft of new regulations is a key driver shaping hiring trends in the Malaysian banking and financial services this quarter, according to recruitment experts Hays. However, the latest Hays Quarterly Report reveals recruitment by banks and financial institutions is also being influenced by new revenue initiatives and trends such as a greater reliance on data and analytics.

“Malaysia’s banking and financial services sector is going through a very dynamic phase. “This is always a busy quarter as many candidates scout for new opportunities post-bonus and employers create backfill vacancies, but the current increase in recruitment activity goes deeper than seasonal staff turnover. “New regulations are influencing not only compliance functions but also operations, digital marketing, human resources, procurement, supply chain and legal so we expect a dynamic,”  says Hays Malaysia regional director Tom Osborne.

An interesting trend is the rise in internal fusion functions to ensure all areas within banking are protected.

Hays has also seen strong demand over a couple of quarters for compliance candidates covering financial crime, risk and anti-money laundering due to extra governance requirements by regulators.

In addition, Hays notes that regulators are tightening Foreign Exchange Administration (FEA) policies for banks creating more roles for operations FEA staff with knowledge of trade and cash operations to help fortify the bank’s first and second lines of defense.

Banks are also looking to further develop their analytics capability for all internal functions driving up demand for candidates experienced in credit risk modelling and model validation and Basel-related skill sets.

Meanwhile, new revenue-generating initiatives are creating roles across internal audit, investigation audit, consumer audit and treasury/investment audit.

Internal audit capabilities are being scaled to focus on specific segments of the bank adding another layer of recruitment need.

“We are also seeing hiring demand for relationship managers and credit analysts within business banking and corporate banking across both conventional and Islamic functions.

“These segments are growing but banks are also diversifying their investment portfolios for example to include construction and property.

“All this activity means candidates with well-developed stakeholder management skills and experience in project management and process improvement remain in high demand across the financial services industry too,” says Osborne.

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