News: Laid-off expat bankers in HK face language barrier, job loss

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Laid-off expat bankers in HK face language barrier, job loss

With the recent lay-offs across banks in Asia, Hong Kong expats are the ones facing the brunt of the crisis because of a lack of available jobs and demand for Mandarin speakers.
Laid-off expat bankers in HK face language barrier, job loss

Expats who are working in the banking sector in Hong Kong are struggling to land jobs in the wake of the massive lay-offs announced recently by the Deutsche Bank. A major reason behind this challenge is a shrinking market and a focus on hiring Mandarin speakers. 

Once known as Asia’s financial hub, the international workers in the city are the ones who are facing the repercussions of a shrinking market. Hong Kong is one of the most expensive cities in the world characterized by high rents, expensive living, even several senior bankers are finding it tough to remain unemployed for long. 

Apart from the Deutsche Bank, Nomura Holdings Inc. has also announced job cuts in the city. 

The result of these lay-offs is that the international workers who have established themselves in the city are looking for alternate career options wherein their banking skills would find a fit. However, there are many others who are having to settle for a lower-paid job within the banking sector and even saying yes to a demotion. 

Back in 2008, when the banks in the western parts of the world were hit by a global recession, Asian banks were able to absorb the talent that had lost their jobs. However, that might not be possible this time around, according to Will Glover, MD for Macdonald & Co., a recruitment firm based in Hong Kong. 

Glover adds that it is more likely that the laid-off bankers would have to take the pay-cuts if they were to continue working in the region. Even though global banks are eyeing China as the next big superpower with intentions to lay down strong foundations and presence in the region, the search is on for Mandarin speakers and those bankers who understand the landscape and language of the region.

Topics: #Jobs, Recruitment

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