Maybank Kim Eng lays off 5% of Singapore staff, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Maybank Kim Eng lays off 5% of Singapore staff

This article is more than 12 months old

Maybank Kim Eng has laid off 5 per cent of its workforce in Singapore as the brokerage sector faces stiffer competition brought about by financial technology.

The investment banking and securities broking arm of Malaysia's largest bank announced the job cuts in an internal memo last Friday, The Business Times reported yesterday.

The report said Maybank Kim Eng had a headcount of about 600, comprising 400 full-time employees as well as self-employed remisiers, which means that about 30 positions were axed.

A spokesman for the company told The Straits Times that it is going through restructuring.

He said: "Maybank Kim Eng plans to capture new market segments via new product offerings, align its distribution channels, as well as enhance client offerings and connectivity across products."

Maybank Kim Eng chief executive Ami Moris said in a statement: "With this exercise, we have had to restructure some parts of our operations, namely the Singapore retail brokerage, regional institutional sales and research, and Hong Kong investment banking and advisory businesses. Regrettably, this had necessitated a review of our staff strength to an optimum level..."

Ms Moris noted the investment banking landscape has evolved dramatically over the last few years because of shifts in customer preferences and dynamic changes in the markets. It has seen growing automation and digitalisation of brokerage offerings, as well as changes in the regulatory environment.

Associate Professor Lawrence Loh from the National University of Singapore Business School said that the brokerage sector is facing severe headwinds, especially with disruptive technology such as automation and digitalisation.

"Retail investors are getting more savvy and can perform many tasks themselves online, thus skirting the need for human assistance," said Prof Loh. - THE STRAITS TIMES