2019 began with a bang for finance and banking talent in the Philippines and Singapore, as online hiring of these professionals increased to double digit growth in January and February. This is according to data provided by the Monster Employment Index, released by Monster.com today.

The Monster Employment Index (MEI) is a monthly gauge of online hiring activity across Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, tracked by Monster.com. It comprises data for overall hiring activity in each country, as well as specific data in the banking and finance sector.

The Philippines reported an impressive 21% year-on-year growth during January. However, its annual growth for February declined to 15%, down 6% from the previous month. Singapore reported a double-digit annual growth of 15% during January, but declined to 12% year-on-year growth during the next month. Malaysia fared the poorest in terms of online demand for banking and financial talent, reporting an annual decline of 9% for both months.

In terms of availability of financial and banking roles, the Philippines was far ahead of its Southeast Asian peers with a whopping 30% annual growth during January. The following month saw it 21% year-on-year growth, a 9% decline from the previous month. Singapore did not display any growth during January, but rose to 2% for February. Malaysia was the worst-performing of all, reporting annual declines of 12% and 13% for both January and February.

“Fintech has taken the banking and finance industry by storm, which has resulted in financial institutions releasing a flurry of digital innovations which empower consumers. Southeast Asia is home to millions of consumers with access to the internet and smartphones, prompting financial providers to push out cashless initiatives. Blockchain and its related products have also begun to gain precedence in this part of the world, further driving the need for constant innovation,” said Abhijeet Mukherjee, CEO of Monster.com – APAC and Middle East. “Consequently, finance hopefuls must be passionate about consumer technology, and must be willing to face the challenges that come with a highly mercurial environment head-on. With financial institutions attempting to out-do each other in terms of churning out new and fresh products that improve consumers’ lives, finance recruits must be at the top of their game in order to succeed.” –