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FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Bankers to get lowest pay rise in 2017

Their salaries are only projected to grow by 3%.

A combination of fresh salary budget data for the coming year and industry sector feedback points to a shortage of tech talent in the financial sector, which is helping salary budgets for talent in digital roles hold steady amid broader weakness across other industries, particularly the banking sector, according to global advisory, broking and solutions company Willis Towers Watson.

Survey findings released by Willis Towers Watson, drawn from its 2016 Asia Pacific Salary Budget Planning Report, show banking salary budget increases for 2017 are set to be well below those in the tech sector, and also below those of the financial services sector as a whole.

Findings show that salaries in Singapore’s banking sector are set to grow by 3% in 2017, the slowest rate of salary growth of all the industry sectors in the survey. Rates are also lower than the regional average of 4.8%.

High Tech salaries in Singapore, meanwhile, are predicted to grow at a faster pace than banking. The industry is expected to see growth rates of 4%, on par with Hong Kong, but lagging behind China (7.5%).

The highest salary growth in Singapore is expected in the Insurance industry, with predictions of 4.5% growth. This is still behind the regional average of 5.4%, but on par with predictions for Hong Kong.

“What the data is telling us is that, amid a general slowdown in the banking sector and more broadly across the financial services sector, salaries for digital roles within the financial sector are holding steady,” Mr Rakyan said. “It doesn’t mean tech talent will necessarily get more in a monetary sense, but it does in percentage terms.”

Unlike in pre-financial crisis times, banking no longer stands alone as the industry of choice amongst top-tier university graduates, according to Greg Kuczaj, Asia Pacific Head of Willis Towers Watson’s Global Financial Services practice. “There is continued attraction and retention pressure from non-financial services firms, such as those in high tech or fintech, as the pay premium in financial services has decreased to where it is no longer a major attraction,” said Kuczaj.

Even at mid- and senior-level positions, technology firms are increasingly attracting key talent away from the financial services industry due to less regulation and scrutiny in the high tech industry, more innovative and entrepreneurial work environments, and highly competitive total rewards packages.

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