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It's too expensive for Hong Kong fintechs in Singapore

After Hong Kong bled fintech firms during COVID, it seemed for a moment that Singapore's place at the head of Asian fintech was unassailable.

But rising costs are undermining the foundations, particularly when it comes to hiring fintech employees.  

"The cost is getting higher in Singapore because of inflation," says Emilia Chen, CEO of fintech headhunting firm Polygon Search. "Now more companies are looking for remote candidates."  Chen doesn't mean candidates working from home, but in remoter places, like Taiwan. Patricia Teo, executive director at Kerry Consulting has seen it too. She says companies are setting up "alternative offices in lower cost locations."

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It's not just fintech companies themselves that are leaving Singapore. The recruiters say candidates are growing tired of the high costs there, too, and are leaving to work elsewhere. In the circumstances, you might think Singaporean fintechs would allow candidates to work from home. Apparently not. Teo says most are now expecting people in the office three or four days a week. 

Singapore isn't losing out entirely, though. Business facing and regulatory-driven roles often remain there. 

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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