Banking job boom and surging salaries in Saudi Arabia

Despite ongoing global financial challenges, Saudi Arabia is experiencing a major surge in banking jobs and salaries. This progress is attributed to the ambitious financial growth plans by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who is utilising oil gross sales revenue to rework the nation’s economy. With over US$600 billion worth of belongings, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is hiring swiftly, attracting personnel from foreign firms operating in the Kingdom. Wall Street banks are also seeking to expand, lured by the potential for profitable deals.
However, recruiting talent has been difficult. The Crown Prince’s easing of social restrictions has not been sufficient to make the country extra appealing to international workers and experienced native staff are scarce. As a result, there’s intense competition for expert workers, causing a significant improve in salaries.
According to recruiter Hays, most banking professionals in Saudi Arabia can earn round 20% more than their Western counterparts. Expat executives relocating from neighbouring Dubai can expect to earn 20% to 35% extra, reviews headhunting agency Mark Williams. For high-level hires, these figures may be even larger.
The comparison to China twenty years ago comes from Carmen Haddad, Citigroup’s Vice Chairperson for the Middle East and Country Officer in Saudi Arabia. She suggests that the Kingdom’s rapid financial reforms also include new challenges, such as the ongoing battle for expertise within the monetary sector.
Dark -level Vice President roles in banking in Saudi Arabia offer 10% to 20% larger salaries than those in London, in accordance with a 2022 Dartmouth Partners report. Bonuses in Saudi Arabia exceed one hundred pc of a banker’s wage in profitable years. Moreover, recruiters say employees can safe the next rank and due to this fact a better salary in Saudi Arabia than in larger monetary centres, and luxuriate in advantages similar to various perks and no revenue taxes.
Highly-skilled Saudi nationals are in excessive demand, driving up salary expectations significantly. In response, the Public Investment Fund has imposed an off-the-cuff cap of 30% on pay rises provided to potential recruits, in order to keep away from an escalating wage spiral. Compensation packages additionally embrace quite a few perks, similar to tax-free revenue, housing, college charges and flights house. This mixture of benefits makes the prospect of transferring to Saudi Arabia from international locations just like the UK all the extra appealing.
Foreign corporations are compelled to match these presents or rent less-experienced native workers to retain their own workers. Some global banks have only recently begun increasing into the Saudi market, attracted by the Kingdom’s bold economic diversification plans.
Although the Saudi government is making an effort to improve situations for international employees, many ex-pats are hesitant to move to a country lacking the infrastructure, entertainment options and freedoms available in different elements of the world. For senior bankers, the method to life in cities similar to Riyadh is a deterrent, leading them to continue working in Dubai even when supplied substantial financial incentives to relocate.
The kingdom is growing its monetary hub, the US$10 billion King Abdullah Financial District, to help economic diversification efforts. The district is beginning to attract worldwide curiosity, with Alibaba Group Holding and local banks opening workplaces there, and Goldman Sachs planning to move in later this yr.
However, the high value of attracting expertise is deterring some funding companies from establishing a presence in Riyadh. Certain companies are opting to find their regional bases in Doha or Abu Dhabi, the place prices related to local employees are extra manageable..

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