Regional Banking HR Heads met at Barclays Capital in Hong Kong, on Thursday 28 June, for The Chapman Consulting Group’s quarterly Financial Services HR Briefing. As usual, the popular information sharing session was attended by a great group of HR Leaders from the likes of Prudential, ING, Macquarie Bank, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered, CITIC, Barclays, Wells Fargo and several other financial services groups.
HR Leaders discussed changes in their HR service delivery models, in the last three months. Everyone seemed to report a similar story: “driving for greater efficiency and cost reduction in HR services”. Many continue to tinker with their HR models to drive improvements in their HR operations capabilities and HR information systems capabilities.
Localization of packages continues to be a major focus amongst financial services groups in Hong Kong. Several HR Leaders talked about scrapping benefits like clubs and schooling. Practices remain inconsistent amongst companies but everyone seemed to be trying to scale back on expat packages, especially for “career expats”.
In the HR realm, talent movements seem to be getting more creative. More HR Leaders talked about moving HR talent more readily between specialisations in their teams. A lot more inter-regional movement is happening, particularly with talent from India and The Philippines. It remains difficult though to switch Asian talent between Singapore, Hong Kong and China.
An interesting discussion ensued on the difficulty of retaining and promoting Asian talent in Hong Kong. Although there were several Hong Kong based leaders in the group, some HR Leaders commented that local talent seems to get “lost under expats” and many locals still feel like there is a glass ceiling on career progression. Others felt that expat HR Leaders often failed to promote locals quick enough feeling that many lacked enough international experience to have a broad enough perspective to value add to key decisions.
The next Financial Services HR Leader Briefing will be held in October in Hong Kong.
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