MORE of Singapore's finance professionals would consider moving to jobs outside their industry rather than to jobs outside the country.
That is, according to the results of eFinancialCareers' 2012 Movement Survey, which polled 866 respondents on its registered users database. The respondents are all based in Singapore and working in the investment banking, securities and asset management industries. eFinancialCareers is a leading specialist online job recruitment portal for the finance and banking industry.
Although no response breakdown by nationality was available, about 55 per cent of those who responded were Singaporean and the rest were expatriates, indicating that the results were largely representative of both local and foreign perspectives.
The results show that 75 per cent of those surveyed had no plans to relocate outside of Singapore in 2012, while 80 per cent would recommend living in Singapore to their peers in the financial industry.
Singapore's top attractions as a place to live and work are its safety (cited by 60 per cent of those polled) and high quality of life (13 per cent).
However, the top two caveats were the high cost of living (for 44 per cent of respondents) and the high-pressured work environment faced (23 per cent).
When asked to comment on the results, Mr George McFerran, eFinancialCareers managing director, Asia Pacific, said: "The results suggest that Singapore is still perceived as a 'safe haven' for finance professionals. They reflect a strong confidence in the Republic's ability to provide these professionals the right balance of social and economic motivations to stay on and ride out the global financial uncertainties."
Of those with plans to move or are considering moving to other countries, 40 per cent said they wanted a change of location, while 24 per cent were convinced of better opportunities abroad. Australia was the top destination for 16 per cent of those moving, followed by Hong Kong (15 per cent). The US and UK tied in third position, with 10 per cent of the votes.
Nevertheless, a key concern for Singapore's finance industry is the willingness of its finance professionals to consider a switch in industry - 75 per cent of them would be prepared to do so, according to the survey. Unsurprisingly, the booming oil and gas and technology sectors are the most popular for potential career-changers, attracting 33 per cent and 16 per cent of those surveyed, respectively. The reasons cited were perceived greater remuneration packages (34 per cent) and better job opportunities (33 per cent).
Mr McFerran acknowledges that while Singapore faces little external competition from its neighbours in its position as a regional financial hub, such internal challenges remain. Therefore, Singapore's financial organisations must face the task of retaining these talents, both through business growth and maintaining employee satisfaction.