More Singapore financial services firms are in hiring mode

SINGAPORE - More firms in the local financial services industry are hiring more staff, a new survey shows.

Astbury Marsden, a financial services recruitment firm, found that 43 per cent of firms reported growth in hiring during the second quarter, up from 35 per cent in the first quarter and just 15 per cent at the end of last year.

The firm had polled 50 financial services employers and 300 candidates.

Its "optimism index" showed a rise in employer optimism, which reached 52.7 per cent, up from 41.3 per cent in the first quarter.

A score of 50 or higher indicates positive sentiment on jobs.

However, candidate confidence fell to 51.9 per cent from 64.4 per cent in the first quarter, with fewer candidates believing opportunities will grow in the next quarter.

This reflects the strength of competition in Singapore, which has a large pool of skilled professionals, the firm said.

It said the growth in jobs and employer confidence was underpinned by 5.5 per cent year on year growth in the financial services sector in the second quarter.

The jobs market has seen strong demand for new roles in areas like management consulting, governance, risk and compliance and internal audit.

"Singapore continues to benefit from its position as the hub of choice for businesses looking to invest in areas of high growth such as Indonesia and Malaysia, even though Kuala Lumpur is now becoming an important hub in its own right," said Astbury Marsden's Asia Pacific managing director Mark O'Reilly.

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