Sombre bonus outlook for bank staff

    Kerry Consulting

    Asiaone has recently interviewed our general manager, Pan Zaixian on his views regarding the bonus payouts for 2012.

    Singapore’s low 1.9 per cent unemployment rate may be the envy of many but the banks here are not immune to the global cost-cutting trend in the industry. Citigroup last week said it would axe 11,000 jobs worldwide and Bloomberg data showed that financial services firms have announced more than 300,000 job cuts globally since the start of 2011.

    According to Pan, Senior managers are unlikely to get any pay rise while for more junior staff, banks use local inflation as a guide to salary adjustment. “We’re in an environment where people are very conservative about pay rises.”

    “Now, with that in mind and from what we know about the market at ground level, it is likely that adjustment can be below local inflation.”

    Inflation this year is tipped to be slightly above 4.5 per cent.

    Pan says, “Bonuses are going to be meagre in general.” But he noted that this is a distraction from the fact that the base pay at investment banks has been raised significantly since 2010.

    “For non-front-office roles at the general level, bonus is expected to be closer to one-plus month instead of four months during the better years,” he said.

    “For senior management and for general front- office roles, where in good years they can expect 10- plus months bonus, this will no longer be commonplace,” he said.

    Here is the original article