Briefing: Hong Kong’s new virtual banks prompt hiring binge

Hong Kong Banks Are on an Unusual Hiring Spree – Bloomberg

What happened: Hong Kong’s banking sector is seeing a rare surge in recruitment as newly licensed virtual banks vie to snap up talent. The monetary authority of Hong Kong issued the first batch of virtual banking licenses in March. So far, the four licensed ventures have around 200 employees in the city, which will likely more than double by the time they launch, according to Carol Cheung, director at headhunter Robert Walters. “This wave of hiring is rare,” she added.

Why it’s important: The new virtual banks are expected to draw new blood into Hong Kong. However, companies will likely face challenges in recruiting talent with the right skill set in Hong Kong, which still relies on traditional banking and is lagging behind in fintech compared with its close neighbors, such as mainland China and Singapore. Fintech is one of the areas with the largest skills gap in Hong Kong. The virtual banks are expected to begin operating in six to nine months and the city has a few more applications in the pipeline, authorities said last month.