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Roast my CV: Do Singapore banks only want locals now?

I am a compliance officer with over 18 years of experience across two banks and two countries in Asia, specializing in private banking.

I’ve been looking for roles since May 2022 – and despite a few interviews, things dried up in the last quarter of the year.

I’m worried that my application is being overlooked in Singapore due to banks’ preference for locals or permanent residents – but could it be that my CV is the issue?

[Submit your CV to be roasted here].




  • Seasoned banking professional with over 18 years of experience in the Regulatory Compliance, Conduct Compliance, Group Financial Crime Compliance, Wealth Management and Private Banking Industry.
  • Expert in business control related matter for regulatory compliance, client due diligence policies, business compliance risk and operational risk management.
  • Help positioning the Bank as an industry leader in the eyes of regulators and industry stakeholder.
  • A results-driven analytical thinker and a great team player, with the ability to influence senior management.
  • Helped in developing high-performance teams by transitioning and employee development.


Executive Director, Group ABC, Governance &Controls)                    Jun 2021 – May 2022

Group Anti-Bribery & Corruption (ABC)

[REDACTED], Singapore

  • Support on governance and oversight over the implementation of ABC related policies and procedures to ensure they effectively mitigate ABC risk.
  • Review of Policy/Standards to ensure that any changes to the Global ABC standards, control framework and processes.
  • Global policy owner and responsible for implementation of gift and entertainment standards & speaker engagement standards.
  • Collaborate with training teams to input to ABC training curriculum deliverables.
  • Support the ABC COE team on driving the migration to Colleague Conduct HUB in GBS [REDACTED].
  • Lead & support Speak Up team on the Annual report to the Board for year 2021

Executive Director, PvB COO                                                                    Apr 2017 – May 2021

[REDACTED], Group PvB COO, Singapore

  • Group Process owner (delegate) responsible for ensuring consistent global standards for private banking client lifecycle processes which are compliant to Regulatory & Group CDD requirements
  • Collaborate with front office and support functions to ensure that robust controls are in place and are well deployed while balancing client experience.
  • Driving adoption of existing and future process and technology initiatives
  • Own end-to-end accountability of Operations team supporting the onboarding element in countries for PvB clients
  • Ensure compliance to CDD procedures at all times and ensure implementation of an effective governance framework to monitor and manage AML/CDD/Sanctions/FATCA risks.
  • Deliver outcomes on standard metrics/scorecard for onboarding, e.g., productivity, accuracy, service levels, losses / lapses, issues, and the Operational Risk Framework ("ORF") related to client lifecycle.
  • Review audit findings from relevant audits and develop action plans as needed.

Director – Group FCC, PEP and Sensitive Client Unit                             Jan 2013–Apr 2017

[REDACTED], Group Office, Singapore

  • Implementation of the Group procedures on Politically Exposed Person (PEPs) across all business segments.The role involved working closely with Project team, COO, FCC stakeholders to rolling out the new global procedure across the Group in Retail, PvB, CIB and Commercial segments by ensuring that key documentation (procedures, process notes, forms templates etc) produced to high quality, and staffs are trained on the requirements.
  • Providing advice on the risk classification and assessment of PEPs and Sensitive clients for APAC region. Managing a team of analyst which assess and evaluate the clients escalated from regional/country financial crime teams and businesssegments.
  • Evaluating the specific financial crime risks associated with high risk sensitive clients. This include working closely with other stakeholder in the business and Financial Crime intelligence team to provide direction on any extra due diligence, account reviews or transaction analysis.
  • Building and Managing a team of Case Managers in the PEP and Sensitive client unit.

Head -Compliance,  Private Banking                                                                          2010–2013

[REDACTED], India, Mumbai

  • Manage and mitigate regulatory risk including AML risk through proactive advice to Senior Management in relation to applicable rules, regulation, the Group’s policy and standards.
  • Improve regulatory risk controls through discharging the responsibilities of Compliance, as defined within the CDD procedures and regulatory framework. Further, reinforce control and compliance by strengthening pre-emptive risk identification & mitigation.
  • Preparing an Annual Compliance Plan for the business including annual risk assessment and certificates to the Group Head- Compliance.

Vice President-Compliance, Private& Retail Banking                                              2008–2010

[REDACTED II], India, Mumbai

  • Advising senior management on the requirements of various regulations and group requirements governing the Bank’s operations with respect to Private Banking, Retail & WM business.
  • Managing the FCC risk and controls by ensuring applicable Group and local regulatory requirements are implemented in for the Private Banking business.
  • Reviewing proposals for products/process in the businesses to identify key compliance risks and provide pro-active and constructive assistance to line management to take an informed and independent decision within the regulatory framework.
  • Maintaining good relations with the RBI/SEBI.

Relationship Manager and various other roles in Branch Banking                              2004-2008

[REDACTED II], India, New Delhi

  • Initial years in banking industry which involved working closely on planning and execution of retail and branch operation.

Professional Qualifications


  • Executive MBA from [REDACTED] University, (2009-2011).         
  • Qualified as Bachelor of Law (LLB) from [REDACTED], (2001-2004) 



  • 1998 – 2001 Bachelor of Commerce from [REDACTED], University of Delhi, New Delhi
  • 1998            Senior Secondary from [REDACTED], New Delhi
  • 1996            Higher Secondary from [REDACTED], New Delhi                                            

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AUTHOReFinancialCareers Insider Comment
  • Se
    Serge Gainsbourg
    2 February 2023

    I don't think I've had a single conversation with an expat in Singapore without them being convinced that there's some conspiracy against them lol.

    The fact of the matter is the locals have networking advantages, education advantages, and - to be honest, in many cases - there's just better than the expats. Tough luck.

  • Bi
    2 February 2023

    Yes they are horrible to non-Singaporeans

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