A recent article from Bloomberg explains that two decades after Britain left Hong Kong, the balance of power in the finance industry has shifted to all things China.
The Chinese influence is presenting greater challenges for Western banks and expatriates. China’s rise is creating a new scene in the banking industry. John Mullally, an executive recruiter, said that “as recently as 2010, expatriates from Britain and the rest of Europe, plus those from the U.S. and Australia, landed 40 percent of his finance job placements. Today, that figure is 15 percent.”
At Plus, we have been seeing increasing China outbound relocations and assignments, with the largest destination increase within the APAC region, particularly to places like Hong Kong and Singapore.
As U.S. expat numbers have stayed stagnant or fallen due to layoffs at Western banks, Chinese banker expats throughout the region have increased. For many Chinese assignees, Hong Kong offers a lower tax rate, great food and a very exciting career potential.
A flood of Chinese bankers is changing the social fabric of Hong Kong, as they rapidly expand their footprint in one of the world’s premier financial centres, even as Beijing struggles to tame the former British colony politically. Twenty years after Hong Kong’s handover to Chinese rule, scores of mainland professionals are filling the elite financial ranks of Hong Kong, while a series of lay-offs at Western banks has led to an exodus of expatriates.