FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong CFOs onshoring services as complaints rise

And half said they’d shut their off-shore location completely if they could find the workers locally.

One in two or 52% of Hong Kong's chief financial officers (CFO) are increasing their level of onshoring their services back to Hong Kong in the past two years, recruitment firm Robert Half revealed.

According to a study they commissioned, 66% refer to rising costs and 58% cite service complaints as the main reasons to increase onshoring. Over half or 57% have also increased their nearshoring, or transferring operations to a nearby country.

"With Hong Kong ranking as the world’s number 4 financial centre, this increased level of onshoring could potentially lead to more jobs in the financial services sector," Robert Half said.

The study also found out that 51% of financial services leaders would consider shutting down offshore activities and completely return to Hong Kong if the specialised skills they require would be available locally.

"Onshoring can result in tangible benefits for Hong Kong companies," the firm said.

About 44% of respondents said onshoring improved cost efficiencies, whilst 43% said it increased productivity, 39% said it upgraded customer responsiveness, and 33% said it raised service quality.

Robert Half Hong Kong managing director Adam Johnston said, "To combat the local skills shortage and have their workforce operating at an optimal level, financial services companies need to invest in adequate staff development programs to remedy any critical skills gaps. When it is not possible to upskill existing staff with business-critical skillsets, employers need to recruit qualified professionals – on either temporary or permanent basis to meet strategic and operational objectives."

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