More regulation, digitalisation and fintech competition driving hiring in the Malaysian banking & financial services industry

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Digitalisation and investment in technology is creating a dynamic recruitment market in Malaysia’s banking & financial services sector against a backdrop of increased competition from fintech firms, according to recruiting experts Hays.

“The ramp up to digital has been fairly rapid in the banking & financial services industry with more products and services moving online, but also more functions going digital and this is creating both risk and opportunity,” says Tom Osborne, Regional Director of Hays in Malaysia.

“While there’s no question digitalisation is providing more flexible banking options for consumers, it’s also helped by the introduction of more guidelines and regulations to help plug what is seen by authorities as vulnerable gaps infinancial systems,” says Tom.

“This is creating strong demand for a range of roles from senior cyber security experts to AML candidates to audit, risk and compliance professionals,” he says.

“The fintech sector is also shaking things up by creating plenty of disruption including trying to unbundle financial services as a way of creating niche consumer markets to target.”

“This has given rise to some interesting counter trends by banks including a few collaborations through joint ventures. The opposite is also true with some banks creating in-house fintech teams to stay at the cutting edge of digital product and service development.”

“Overall, we think it is a dynamic time to be working in banking and financial services in Malaysia, although there will continue to be challenges including greater competition for roles available.”

An overview of what else is occurring in the banking & financial services sector in Malaysia can be viewed below:

1. A number of joint ventures are taking place between banks and fintech firms creating the need for candidates with the right technical skills, but also the ability to help transition people and systems to the new environment

2. JVs are also driving up the need for confident, vocal and persuasive senior cyber security managers able to negotiate with internal and external stakeholders and steering committees to get the right protections in place.

3. Some banks are creating internal tech teams that include big data, user interface and analytics experts, while others are investing in fintech startups.

4. Greater regulation from the Bank Negara Malaysia has driven up hiring levels of regulatory compliance professionals and roles focused on financial crime protection such as anti-money Laundering and investigations at all levels from juniors right up to head of department roles.

5. Regulatory changes are creating new and more defined functions across the entire banking and financial services industries creating a significant surge in demand for audit, risk and compliance professionals more generally.

6. Banking relationship managers at all levels are in growing demand for retail and business banking roles with many fielding multiple offers. Candidates will spurn a job offer if the commission structure is not crystal clear.

7. Actuaries well versed in market and financial risk are a target for banking and insurance employers with competition for qualified candidates intense.

To find out more about the banking & financial services industry, please read our inside story of the sector in Malaysia here.

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