Pay jumps for risk and compliance bankers in Singapore, HK trump New York, London

Risk and compliance officers in Singapore and Hong Kong banks received bigger pay rises this year than their counterparts in New York and London, according to recruitment firm Robert Half.

Base pay excluding bonuses for people who switched jobs in the Asian cities rose up to 20 per cent this year, double the rate in New York and London, Robert Half's global financial services practice director Neil Owen told news agency Bloomberg.

But senior staff in Singapore are still paid the least among the four cities, Mr Owen's data showed. A senior risk or compliance officer in the Republic would earn US$201,000 annually (S$250,000), compared with US$232,000 in Hong Kong, US$282,000 in London and US$323,595 in New York.

Mr Owen said the bigger wage growth in Singapore and Hong Kong stems from a smaller pool of experienced talent available in Asia. It also underscores the demand for risk and compliance staff as banking rules tighten globally and regulators crack down on banking offenses.

"The compliance team in a large bank consisted of a handful of people before the financial crisis," Mr Owen told Bloomberg in a phone interview earlier this month.

"There's been such a significant increase in the types of functions that are required, there's been so much change coming down from the regulators, the types of processes that need to be implemented."