B&Fs Q2

Banking & Financial Services Market Insights Q2 2017

Published on 6th April 2017

Throughout the first quarter of 2017, talent demand for Banking & Financial Services continued to see an increasing trend.

Banks active on migration of functions

In Q1 2017, we continued to see the trend of global banks migrating and building functions in Kuala Lumpur. This phenomenon has been creating and developing exciting career opportunities for professionals in Banking & Financial Services. However, as most of these functions are still considered new to Malaysia, we saw a short supply of local talents in meeting this demand. Banks continued to be focused on attracting expat expertise who could build and develop talented, sustainable teams with the pool of local and returning Malaysian professionals.

Core growth areas continued to be across Investment Banking, Wealth, Risk and AML / Compliance operations, as organisations looked to keep up with global regulatory standards. We saw an accompanying talent demand for Banking & Financial Services professionals who could support growth in these areas.

We also observed a trend, albeit very much expected, of the fundamental need for strong Business Change teams, Process Engineers, Business Analysts, and Project Managers. This trend has been evolving with the continued migration of regional and global processes to Malaysia, particularly to the country's capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Attitude matters where talent is scarce​

Given the ongoing maturity of Kuala Lumpur as a regional and global hub, with its melting pot of talent comprising a broad range of technical skills and knowledge, we have been seeing businesses unanimously seeking for professionals with global exposure, thought leadership, stakeholder management and excellent communication skills. The search for such talent continued to pose challenges in meeting emerging market needs for excellent regional and global teams in the country's capital. Consequently, we saw a trend where organisations were hiring on attitude and through upskilling of technical knowledge within the available talent pool.

Optimistic talent outlook for the months ahead

As we go through Q2 2017, we expect to see similar hiring trends for Banking & Financial Services that we saw in the first quarter, as this market continues to mature in Malaysia. Exceptional talent will be sought after towards building sustainable teams within banks and financial services firms.

Banking & Financial Services
Salary Report for Q2 2017*

Job title Years of experience Annual salary range (RM$)
Audit / Internal control
Head of Audit / Operational Risk 12+ 200K–250K
Vice President 8–12 120K–200K
Head of Compliance 12+ 200K–250K
Vice President 8–12 120K–200K

Management Reporting / Financial Planning & Analysis
Head of Management Reporting 12+ 180K–220K
Vice President 8–12 150K–180K
Management Accountant 5–8 100K–150K

Product Control
Head of Product Control 12+ 220K–280K
Vice President 8–12 150K–220K

Regulatory Reporting / Financial Accounting
Regional Financial Controller 12+ 220K–280K
Vice President 8–12 150K–220K

Head of Tax 12+ 250K–300K
Vice President 8–12 180K–250K

Operations & Risk
Head of Operations 12+ 220K–280K
Vice President 8–12 150K–220K
Head of Middle & Back Office 12+ 220K–280K
Vice President 8–12 150K–220K
Head of Credit Risk 12+ 200K–250K
Vice President 8–12 150K–220K
Head of Market Risk 12+ 220K–280K
Vice President 8–12 150K–220K

Business change
Business Analyst 8–12 150K–220K
Project Manager 8–12 150K–220K
Program Manager 12+ 220K–300K


*Notes about salary table:

  1. Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
  2. The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
  3. 12-month base salaries are assumed.
  4. All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.
  5. Bonus ranges can vary significantly from company to company and will be influenced by market conditions, business and individual performances. Bonus ranges from 1 month at the low end to 100%+ at the upper.
  6. Holiday entitlements range from 1225 days with senior executives not usually receiving less than 18 days. Less than 15 is very rare and 20 days is becoming the norm.
  7. Healthcare policies are standard.
  8. Pension plans vary with some companies offering greater than the standard contribution. Top up schemes can increase employer contribution levels as much as 15– 20% of the base salary for senior executives.