Don’t bank on bonus, warn consultants

HRM 11 Dec 2012

Bankers in Singapore should not be expecting sky-high bonuses or a pay rise this year as salary adjustments are unlikely to outpace inflation, say experts.

While local banks may have done well financially this year and are expected to be more generous in their employee rewards, most will be prudent rather than lavish.

“We’re in an environment where people are very conservative about pay rises,” said Pan Zaixian, general manager at Kerry Consulting, in a report by The Business Times.

“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.”

According to Stanley Teo, director at Profile Asia, employees’ bonus would depend on their performance. “Very good performers should be happy if they get the same as last year, which could be six months, (because) many will get nothing,” he was quoted as saying.

Another trend in banks is that more are moving jobs out of Singapore to countries like the Philippines and India because costs are considered too high.

For some back-office positions that cost $100,000 a year for a Singapore employee, they can hire two for $50,000 in the Philippines, say experts. 

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