Summer salary boom: how much interns really get paid at banks in Hong Kong

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An investment banking internship in Hong Kong is essentially an end-to-end stressful experience. There’s the tedious online applications and the laborious interview rounds – and that’s even before you spend your summer pulling 16-hour days doing Excel spreadsheets and being bossed around by associates.

Moreover, if it’s your first internship, you’ll have to go through the same process all over again next year (almost all top students do multiple internships)…and even then there’s no guarantee you’ll even get a full-time job offer after you graduate. But despite all this, there is at least one upside you’ll experience during the (approximately) 10 weeks you’ll be cooped up in a big bank: your intern salary.

How much do summer interns get paid at investment banks in Hong Kong?

No matter which global investment bank you work for, monthly intern salaries in Hong Kong are fairly generous, according to low and high-range monthly pay data from Glassdoor. Across the eight banks that the website has sufficient data for, the average ‘high’ Hong Kong monthly intern salary (i.e. the one most likely to be paid to front-office interns) is HK$60k. The average so-called ‘low’ salary (you more likely to earn this in the back office of an investment bank) is actually not that far behind – HK$52k per month, as shown in the table below.

We contacted all eight banks about their Hong Kong intern salaries, but they chose not to comment.

Investment banks in Hong Kong are competing to hire elite Mandarin speaking students from global and local universities as they look to grow their Greater China businesses over the long term. And the intensity of this competition means they don’t want to been seen as being poor paymasters to front-office interns.

Which global bank pays the best front-office salaries to investment banking interns (otherwise known as summer analysts) in Hong Kong? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer is Goldman Sachs (HK$75k a month), which topped Dealogic’s APAC (ex-Japan) IB revenue table for 2018. In second place is HSBC, where interns can earn up to HK$71k a month. HSBC may be making senior job cuts from its global banking and markets division, but it is still building a pipeline of junior talent in Hong Kong, one of its most important markets. HSBC’s intern salaries reflect this fact.

If you want to work for a US bulge bracket in Hong Kong, they all pay roughly the same intern salaries, aside from Goldman. Front-office intern salaries at Bank of America, Citi and Morgan Stanley are all about HK$57k a month. JP Morgan pays slightly less.

There isn’t intern/summer analyst pay data for all Continental European banks, but Deutsche is at the bottom part of our table. Front-office interns at Deutsche in Hong Kong are paid about HK$50k a month – about a third less than their counterparts at Goldman.

Salaries for interns/summer analysts at investment banks in Hong Kong

Image credit: visualspace, Getty

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