New business and compliance driving Malaysian banks to hiring mode

photo courtesy of iStockphoto

The latest Hays Quarterly Report revealed that financial institutions in Malaysia are in a hiring frenzy. Compliance to a raft of new regulations is a key driver of this trend, as is the rollout of new revenue initiatives including a greater reliance on data and analytics.

Hays’ regional director in Malaysia, Tom OsborneHays’ regional director in Malaysia, Tom Osborne (photo right), calls it a “very dynamic phase” and reckons it is not reflective of a 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,” Osborne adds.

The Right Stuff

On the back of new regulations, financial institutions are taking a measured approach to new hires to mitigate impact to compliance functions covering financial crime, risk and anti-money laundering due to extra governance requirements by regulators.

With regulators tightening Foreign Exchange Administration (FEA) policies for banks this creates 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.

Revenue-generating initiatives also mean filling positions in operations, digital marketing, human resources, procurement, supply chain and legal.

As with other markets around the region, financial institutions are beefing up their compliance teams even as they backfill 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.

As banks develop their internal analytics capability so expect demand for this particular expertise to rise acutely in the quarters that follow. In hot demand are candidates with experience in credit risk modelling, model validation and BASEL-related skill sets.

Other functions being filled in include relationship managers and credit analysts within business banking and corporate banking across both conventional and Islamic functions. These segments have been growing along with a focus on developing the construction & property portfolio to diversify the bank’s exposure and reach.

“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,” concludes Osborne.

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Feature photo courtesy of iStockPhoto