No Mandarin? No jobs, bankers warned

British bankers without Mandarin language skills are finding it increasingly tough to be shortlisted for jobs in the financial centres of Hong Kong and Singapore, a major recruiter has warned.

Demand for bankers who speak Mandarin has risen because of the importance of mainland Chinese corporate and high net worth private clients, says jobs firm Astbury Marsden. The pool of new jobs has also shrunk, leaving the recruiter to warn that competition for positions is so intense non-Mandarin speakers have almost no chance of securing employment in Hong Kong.

Mark O'Reilly, Astbury Marsden's managing director of Asia-Pacific, said: "For British expat bankers, having the technical skills and experience is no longer enough. If your role in a bank or fund manager is to deal with a mainland Chinese client, you are now expected to be fluent in Mandarin."