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Public Service vs Banks vs Big 4

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Old 17-05-2020, 01:08 PM
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Default Public Service vs Banks vs Big 4

Hi,

some context. I'm currently an accountancy student from SMU. I am just wondering in light of the current climate, which of the above mentioned would experience the most say, bonus cuts or retrenchments or restructuring in public service (think EDB, MAS, MTI etc) or Banks (OCBC, DBC etc) or Big 4 (Deloitte, KPMG etc). I undersand that the latter two have froze some hirings and even rescinded offers.

Also, which among the 3 can i get the highest salary and still have a stable amount of work life balance?

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Old 17-05-2020, 02:24 PM
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All three types of organisations listed above offer lots of stability. DBS, OCBC and big 4 offer the most upside in terms of money. Starting salary may not be as competitive as PS but comparing senior management to senior management, big 4 and banks offer much more.

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Old 17-05-2020, 02:53 PM
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All three types of organisations listed above offer lots of stability. DBS, OCBC and big 4 offer the most upside in terms of money. Starting salary may not be as competitive as PS but comparing senior management to senior management, big 4 and banks offer much more.
Only if you're referring to PS as a whole. For MAS I believe the senior management pay can match banks and big 4. Starting salary way better as well, with the exception of elite MA programmes in the banks and big 4.

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Old 17-05-2020, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Xiachengng View Post
Hi,

some context. I'm currently an accountancy student from SMU. I am just wondering in light of the current climate, which of the above mentioned would experience the most say, bonus cuts or retrenchments or restructuring in public service (think EDB, MAS, MTI etc) or Banks (OCBC, DBC etc) or Big 4 (Deloitte, KPMG etc). I undersand that the latter two have froze some hirings and even rescinded offers.

Also, which among the 3 can i get the highest salary and still have a stable amount of work life balance?
Good question. No straight answer because each of these entities is huge. We need to drill deeper into each of these sectors to give a good answer. For meaningful analysis, let's split these 3 sectors into 6. 1) Finance government agencies 2a) Bank front office 2b) Bank middle office 2c) Bank back office 3a) Big 4 audit 3b) Big 4 advisory

Finance government agencies all pay well, most of all MAS. Being of the government, these jobs are also the safest. Good or bad times, these are essential services that must continue and SG government is unlikely to collapse anytime soon.

Bank front office will be badly affected by covid. If the role is commission-based, even more so, so consumer banking jobs will be harder hit than corporate banking. When times are bad, you dont need as many salespeople as good times, so job cuts here are possible. Wage cuts for commission-based roles are guaranteed.

Bank middle office wont be hit as badly. Most of their work involves product design (e.g. structuring loans), compliance/AML and risk management. Whether times are good or bad, still needed.

Bank back office wont be hit badly at first, but can be very badly hit and even continue to be affected after covid is over, especially for operations roles. Covid driving digital transformation is bad news for ops ppl in banks. But since such transformation takes time, the effect wont be felt so quickly. IT roles in banks might be less affected, but still undesirable anyway because banks' IT systems tend to be very dated. Also alot of companies trying to cut costs now and cost-cutting measures in banks always target the back office first so this is not a place you want to be.

Big 4 audit will always be required, good or bad times. By law, companies must be audited so this sector will be one of the least affected. But low pay and bad worklife balance, especially during peak seasons. High job stability.

Big 4 advisory refers to advisory services (tax is usually the biggest). This sector will be very badly hit because companies don't need such services (unlike audit) and even if they want, they cannot afford during this time.

Overall ranking in terms of vulnerability to covid (from worst to least badly affected):
1. Big 4 advisory
2. Bank back office
3. Bank front office
4. Bank middle office
5. Big 4 advisory
6. Finance government agencies

My answer to your question is MAS/MTI/EDB/MOF will most likely offer the best salary/worklife combi. In normal times, it will definitely be Big 4 advisory/Bank front office but these jobs are now high-risk.
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Old 17-05-2020, 03:01 PM
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Good question. No straight answer because each of these entities is huge. We need to drill deeper into each of these sectors to give a good answer. For meaningful analysis, let's split these 3 sectors into 6. 1) Finance government agencies 2a) Bank front office 2b) Bank middle office 2c) Bank back office 3a) Big 4 audit 3b) Big 4 advisory

Finance government agencies all pay well, most of all MAS. Being of the government, these jobs are also the safest. Good or bad times, these are essential services that must continue and SG government is unlikely to collapse anytime soon.

Bank front office will be badly affected by covid. If the role is commission-based, even more so, so consumer banking jobs will be harder hit than corporate banking. When times are bad, you dont need as many salespeople as good times, so job cuts here are possible. Wage cuts for commission-based roles are guaranteed.

Bank middle office wont be hit as badly. Most of their work involves product design (e.g. structuring loans), compliance/AML and risk management. Whether times are good or bad, still needed.

Bank back office wont be hit badly at first, but can be very badly hit and even continue to be affected after covid is over, especially for operations roles. Covid driving digital transformation is bad news for ops ppl in banks. But since such transformation takes time, the effect wont be felt so quickly. IT roles in banks might be less affected, but still undesirable anyway because banks' IT systems tend to be very dated. Also alot of companies trying to cut costs now and cost-cutting measures in banks always target the back office first so this is not a place you want to be.

Big 4 audit will always be required, good or bad times. By law, companies must be audited so this sector will be one of the least affected. But low pay and bad worklife balance, especially during peak seasons. High job stability.

Big 4 advisory refers to advisory services (tax is usually the biggest). This sector will be very badly hit because companies don't need such services (unlike audit) and even if they want, they cannot afford during this time.

Overall ranking in terms of vulnerability to covid (from worst to least badly affected):
1. Big 4 advisory
2. Bank back office
3. Bank front office
4. Bank middle office
5. Big 4 advisory
6. Finance government agencies

My answer to your question is MAS/MTI/EDB/MOF will most likely offer the best salary/worklife combi. In normal times, it will definitely be Big 4 advisory/Bank front office but these jobs are now high-risk.
Sorry rank (5) should be "Big 4 AUDIT" instead of "Big 4 advisory"
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Old 17-05-2020, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Xiachengng View Post
Hi,

some context. I'm currently an accountancy student from SMU. I am just wondering in light of the current climate, which of the above mentioned would experience the most say, bonus cuts or retrenchments or restructuring in public service (think EDB, MAS, MTI etc) or Banks (OCBC, DBC etc) or Big 4 (Deloitte, KPMG etc). I undersand that the latter two have froze some hirings and even rescinded offers.

Also, which among the 3 can i get the highest salary and still have a stable amount of work life balance?
Are you a final year student? Isn't the hiring cycle for the aforementioned companies over already? If you haven't found a job yet, maybe you should consider SGUnited Traineeships instead.

But my 2 cents: In this climate, the jobs which offer the best mix of stability and pay are government jobs. MAS, EDB, MTI are excellent choices. Local banks are safe since they pledged not to fire anyone locally and are increasing graduate hires during this time (DBS). Big 4 is generally safe but given that they are rescinding offers globally (including Singapore), it might not offer the stability and pay that is desirable in this climate.
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Old 17-05-2020, 03:28 PM
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Are you a final year student? Isn't the hiring cycle for the aforementioned companies over already? If you haven't found a job yet, maybe you should consider SGUnited Traineeships instead.

But my 2 cents: In this climate, the jobs which offer the best mix of stability and pay are government jobs. MAS, EDB, MTI are excellent choices. Local banks are safe since they pledged not to fire anyone locally and are increasing graduate hires during this time (DBS). Big 4 is generally safe but given that they are rescinding offers globally (including Singapore), it might not offer the stability and pay that is desirable in this climate.
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Old 17-05-2020, 03:34 PM
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Are you a final year student? Isn't the hiring cycle for the aforementioned companies over already? If you haven't found a job yet, maybe you should consider SGUnited Traineeships instead.

But my 2 cents: In this climate, the jobs which offer the best mix of stability and pay are government jobs. MAS, EDB, MTI are excellent choices. Local banks are safe since they pledged not to fire anyone locally and are increasing graduate hires during this time (DBS). Big 4 is generally safe but given that they are rescinding offers globally (including Singapore), it might not offer the stability and pay that is desirable in this climate.
I second this. I was offered a local bank MA programme (which I accepted). Starting pay 4.2k. My friend was offered MAS and he told me his starting pay is 4.5k. Either way, both are above median and relatively stable. Best of luck!
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Old 18-05-2020, 10:53 AM
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I second this. I was offered a local bank MA programme (which I accepted). Starting pay 4.2k. My friend was offered MAS and he told me his starting pay is 4.5k. Either way, both are above median and relatively stable. Best of luck!
For fch is higher - about 4.9k for MAS with good & stable progression that pegs increments to banks & FIs
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