The Malaysian financial system has played a catalytic role in facilitating the growth of the Malaysian economy. Since 2001, the financial sector has expanded at an average annual rate of 7.3% to RM3.2 trillion in 2010*, accounting for 11.7% of gross domestic product (GDP). This strategic role of the financial sector will increase in importance as Malaysia becomes integrated with the global economy.
According to Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, significant new trends continue to reshape the financial services industry. The intensification of the globalisation process, the advancement in technology and the unprecedented consequences of the global financial and economic crisis have contributed to a future that has become more complex, and ambiguous.
In the context of these fundamental and far-reaching changes, talent also needs to be transformed. There is now an increased demand for highly-skilled knowledge workers that are able to meet the changing requirements of an increasingly globalised and borderless workplace.
Transition towards a high value-added, high-income economy and greater regional and international integration will require that the financial sector enhances its role in increasing the potential capacity of the economy to grow and become more developed. It is envisioned that in this decade, the sector is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8% to 11%, increasing the depth of the financial system to six times of GDP in 2020 (2010: 4.3 times of GDP).
Size of financial system is proxied by the sum of loans outstanding, stock market capitalisation and bonds outstanding. Source – Bank Negara Financial Sector Blueprint 2011-2020
Financial services is no longer mundane. One can grow with the bank and take on so many enriching and challenging roles in one’s career. Let’s take a look at some of the industry trends which are influencing the demand for talent in the sector.
Trend 1: Growth of the capital market and securities sector is a major player in the financial services industry – such as investment banking, asset management, wealth management and insurance.
Trend 2: Shift in population dynamics has driven the private banking and asset management industry.
Trend 3: Focus on sales and customer-service arising from the rapid expansion in consumer banking. Customer segmentation, loyalty and reward programmes are now becoming the norm.
Trend 4: Sector is harnessing use of technology to introduce new products and delivery models. The advent of mobile banking, social media etc. requires employees with communication, marketing and branding skills.
Hamidah Naziadin, head of group corporate resources of the CIMB Group shares the exciting times ahead as Malaysian banks make a regional footprint. As CIMB is undergoing an exciting transformation pace while cementing its Asean footprint, it is also extending its reach into Asia-Pacific with the acquisition of selected RBS cash equities and associated investment banking businesses.
Chief executive officer of Citibank Malaysia Sanjeev Nanavati feels that banking has something for everyone. From marketing and people-oriented roles to more specialised technology and quantitative-driven careers, banking is about different strokes for different folks. Avid golfer Sanjeev can vouch for different strokes, you see!
Treasurer and managing director of financial markets at Standard Chartered Bank Leon Koay looks for the right attitude in potential hires. Koay also believes a hunger for knowledge and exposure to various departments in the bank early on can help build a successful banking career. A lawyer by training, he busts the myth of “boring banker” with weekends outdoors bird-watching, diving and biking.
Chew Siew Suan, head of group human resource at Alliance Bank on the shortage of skilled talent in specialist roles: Chew feels banking is not just for accountants or finance people anymore and welcomes graduates from diverse backgrounds such as actuarial science, psychology, engineering, marketing and other fields. Increasing investments in technology have led to huge demand for professionals in IT and customer relationship management too. This travel enthusiast is on the hunt for talent to make Alliance Bank go places!
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