Go East: banking jobs in Asia set to outstrip City

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The Independent Online

Bankers looking for a career boost are facing up to a clear choice: go East.

With City job losses soaring finance workers are looking to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore for new opportunities.

A survey from the recruitment house Astbury Marsden shows that 73 per cent of City staff expect most new banking jobs to be created in South-east Asia, with Shanghai seeing the biggest jump in new positions.

Only 11 per cent of bankers and hedge fund workers think London will create the most new banking jobs over the next 12 months – down from 22 per cent a year ago.

Mark Cameron, chief operating officer at Astbury Marsden, said: "The centre of gravity continues to move towards China, whilst confidence in London continues to be chipped away. When we conducted this same research last year we thought that sentiment towards London was at a low – unfortunately we were wrong."

The importance of business in mainland China was highlighted by the leap in confidence in Shanghai, with 26 per cent expecting Shanghai to provide the most new jobs vs just 19 per cent last year.

A recent analysis of new Hong Kong banking job requirements by Astbury Marsden showed that 40 per cent now require the banker to speak Mandarin. China has supplied many of the biggest IPOs of the last year.

Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has forecast that the number of financial services jobs in Hong Kong will have overtaken the number in London by 2015.

The Cebr estimates that in 2015 there will be 248,000 financial services jobs in Hong Kong, compared to 237,000 in London. It says that there are currently 249,500 financial services/City jobs in London, compared to 207,000 in Hong Kong.