Banking vacancies

Banking, as with many other sectors in Malaysia, is experiencing a shortage of skilled and qualified staff and this has serious implications for growth in the industry. Firstly, there is high demand for candidates from a limited pool and the situation is exacerbated by qualified Malaysian bank officers moving abroad.

Employers in the banking industry say that many local bank officers are searching for opportunities abroad, especially in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Middle East.

The main reasons for this include higher take home salaries due to stronger currencies in these countries, international experience and better career prospects.

There is also a high demand for Malaysian Islamic bank officers from the Middle East. Recent trends in hiring among banks suggest confidence in Malaysia as a springboard for global Islamic finance.

A recent trend in banking and finance recruitment is to import foreign talent to fill key roles in Malaysia. Many international banks are bringing in senior staff from abroad to fill critical roles here. The key roles include senior fund managers, equity managers, market researchers and fund accountants.

Skills and qualifications

For all mid to senior level roles, prior banking experience is essential. Other qualities, which candidates should display, include strong communication and interpersonal skills along with analytical skills and a meticulous nature.

For Islamic banking, banks have to comply with Bank Negara regulations on hiring candidates with a bachelorís degree in Shariah including usul fiqh (origin of Islamic law) and fiqh muamalat (Islamic commercial law).

For fresh graduates, they should have, at a minimum, a degree in Banking, Accounting and Finance or Business Administration.

In front office banking, the key roles and vacancies are in investment banking, private banking, private equity, corporate and commercial banking. These roles range from relationship management through to branch manager. There is strong demand for experienced relationship managers across all these sectors, mirroring a trend across most of Asia. Relationship management candidates need good people skills, a firm grasp of financials and an understanding of banking products and services.

Within banking operations, candidates should have experience in treasury settlements, cash management and trade support. The main requirements will be a bachelorís degree in Finance / Accountancy/ Banking. It will be an added advantage if the candidates have certifications such as Certified Federation of Malaysian Unit Trust Managers (FMUTM), Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) and Certificate Examination for Investment-Linked Life Insurance (CEILI). Other certifications are Certified Credit Professional (CCP), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

Corporate governance

Since the 2007 financial crisis, there has been a surge in demand by banks all over the world for experienced corporate governance staff. Corporate governance in banking includes those with experience in compliance, market risk, operations audit, internal audit and credit risk. Candidates should be meticulous and but they should also be able to see the big picture and identify risks and trends within the industry as a whole.

Another key area for banking and finance careers is in Financial Accounting. Roles here include Business Analysis, Fund Accounting and Finance Operations. Candidates should have an accountancy qualification, be meticulous in their work and have a genuine interest and passion for finance.

At all levels, though, the right attitude to the job can sometimes count for more and help make up for less experience.

Article contributed by Randstad Malaysia.