If you had any doubts about whether technology will be Standard Chartered’s hiring focus in Singapore for the rest of 2020, new statistics from the bank should put your mind at rest. Digital adoption rates on banking and investment platforms in Singapore have hit historic highs recently as clients eschewed face-to-face transactions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Overall, there was a 30% year-on-year jump in the volume of digital transactions made in March 2020, according to a new statement from the bank. In April, the bank’s online trading platform saw a 129% spike in client applications compared with the average monthly rate last year. Product sales on digital platforms in the first quarter of 2020 comprised almost half of overall sales – an almost twofold increase from the same period last year.
Although online transaction growth does not generate anything like an equivalent expansion in tech jobs, is set to drive healthy levels of hiring for the rest of 2020 at a time when recruitment in other functions is on the wane because of the pandemic. Tech vacancies alone already now account for 40% of all Singapore-based vacancies on Stan Chart’s careers site.
There are roles, for example, within Stan Chart’s DevOps engineering group, which is currently “modernising SCB’s DevOps capability” via a new central DevOps pipeline. Stan Chart also wants cloud engineers and architects to focus on “migrating applications to public and private cloud”, according to its careers site.
Stan Chart has several cyber security jobs on offer. As we reported earlier this week, demand in that function is on the rise, because surging digital usage also increases the vulnerability of banks to cyber attacks. The increase in employees working from home on less secure systems during the pandemic has also made cyber professionals more critical.
The firm is also looking for a few candidates with AI skills, including two lead machine learning engineers. To land these roles, you will need at least five years of experience “manipulating data sets and building statistical models” as well as knowledge of statistical languages (Python, R, SQL, etc).
Stan Chart is not the only bank to recently announce huge spikes in digital usage in Singapore. At OCBC, online trading volume jumped 104% in Q1 compared with Q4, while at DBS fee income from online equities trading rose 131% over the same period. DBS’s tech team has also been busy rolling out new or enhanced digital products aimed at tackling customer demand driven by the pandemic, according to its Q1 earnings results.
So far this year banks’ technology teams in Singapore have largely dealt with increased digital demand by shuffling staff around internally, says Adam Davies, associate director at recruiters iKas International in Singapore. “Rather than let people go who are rolling off projects, they’ve done whatever they can to use them in different parts of the bank. For example, good developers will be offered new roles on digital projects within the bank,” he adds.
For the rest of the year, however, more recruitment is on the cards. “With demand increasing all the time by consumers for more and improved services in digital banking, it’s inevitable that there will be more tech jobs released to the market over the coming months,” says Davies.
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