Retail banking and compliance candidates in high demand in banking & financial services in Malaysia


Banking and financial services professionals in Malaysia are faced with a changing recruitment market as new demands arise amid a transformation of the country’s finance sector.

According to recruiting experts Hays, this is leading to an influx of new roles and generating demand for candidates with specific skills.

“Restructuring at major banks has led to the creation of new roles that need to be filled. Those with the required skills will find it easy to secure new roles as hiring activity remains strong,” says Tom Osborne, Regional Director of Hays in Malaysia.

Four major banks in Malaysia have given out Mutual Separation Scheme options to their staff over the last two quarters and have eased out many employees due to cost-cutting measures. Subsequent internal restructuring and amending of job grading and functions has created an influx of new roles that now need to be filled, Tom says.

The latest Hays Quarterly Report of skills in demand shows that commercial and private banking segments will see robust growth in 2016 with a soaring number of new roles needing to be filled.

The Central Bank is expected to publish new guidelines for the banking sector to strengthen compliance, which will usher in demand for candidates with expertise in foreign exchange, risk management and legal affairs.

“The supply for these roles is extremely limited so banks will have to stretch requirements to tap into the available talent pool and meet the challenges” says Tom.

Banks will actively seek experienced compliance candidates too as they look to strengthen governance functions to comply with upcoming guidelines from the Central Bank.

In tandem, Malaysia’s banking sector is undergoing a transformation as institutions shift their focus from corporate and commercial segments to retail operations.

“Banks are chasing new growth from retail clients and starting to vet out more products,” Tom says. “This new strategy is creating strong demand for product development specialists within retail banking.” A wide range of professionals are in high demand including those with experience in cards, deposits, mortgages and wealth management.

“Jobseekers aware of these new trends will be well placed to quickly adapt to the changes and tailor their job searches accordingly.”

For those implicated in restructuring at the banks, internal job offers will still give them opportunities to secure new roles with the same employer. Finance reporting, management and regulatory reporting are functions that still requier talent with specific skills.

In other candidate trends, a large number are willing to forgo their bonuses to change jobs since employers have reduced performance-based bonuses, according to Hays.

“As institutions are expected to reduce bonus payments to employees, many are willing to make a move without waiting for their payout,” says Tom. “Candidates are looking to gain broader experience and job satisfaction as well as better working hours and potential for career progression.”

To see the full list of skills in demand and trends for your industry, please visit

Hays is located in Kuala Lumpur at Suite 4 & 5, Level 23, Menara 3, Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Phone +60 3 2786 8600 or email

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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For further information please contact Kerryn Celine, Senior Marketing Executive - South East Asia at Hays, on +61 2 8226 9844 or


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