Recruiters Struggling To Hire Foreign Bankers To Work In Hong Kong
HONG KONG – Recruiters revealed that at present foreign bankers don’t want to work in the Chinese territory due to its strict quarantine rules. In fact, headhunters said that they only managed to recruit bankers who are already in Hong Kong, reported Bloomberg on Friday (21 January, SGT).
The labour shortage comes as Hong Kong faces an exodus of expatriates, who are displeased with the city’s stringent zero-COVID policies. They’re now leaving a city where low taxes, top-notch schools, ease of travel, and a vibrant night-life had previously attracted foreigners.
For some job candidates, “no amount of money is going to convince them to go to Hong Kong. They would rather choose Singapore. It’s a lifestyle balance, even for traders,” said Jason Kennedy, Founder of London-based recruiting company Kennedy Group, which recruits traders for hedge funds with offices across Asia.
Business groups have been telling Hong Kong’s government that its status as a global financial centre increasingly at risk, and data indicates an accelerating outflow of veteran traders and bankers
Based on government data until September 2021, visas for financial service workers fell by about 50 percent from 2018 to 2020 and probably fell further in 2021. In January 2022, government officials imposed tougher rules as Omicron emerged. The government banned flights, closed schools, forced close contacts into government camps, in addition to the 21 days of mandated quarantine for inbound travellers.
Earlier this, the Hong Kong branch of the American Chamber (AmCham) said its latest survey shows that the city’s stringent travel restrictions are now the top concern for American firms. The quarantine measures for travellers make it difficult for head offices to do business, with around 44 percent of those polled saying they are likely to leave Hong Kong.
Furthermore, brain drain extends beyond the finance sector. The controversial national security law has resulted in an exodus of artists, teachers, journalists, and intellectuals.