Summer interns should, in theory, be focused on one thing alone as they play at being bankers: nailing down a full-time job offer for the following year. But doing a front-office internship in an investment banking or trading division can also earn you (as a supposedly impoverished student) a large sum of cash.
Which banks in Singapore pay their interns the most money per month? We asked several front-office summer analysts in Singapore what they and their colleagues are earning per month in order to produce the table below.
If you want to get on the first rung of the Singapore banking sector and get the highest salary possible in the process, you are advised to apply to Nomura or Bank of America Merrill Lynch, both of which pay approximately S$10k (US$7.1k) a month, according to interns we contacted. J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs are not far behind on S$9.9k (US$7k).
Investment banking and trading interns in Singapore are also well remunerated at other large global banks, with Barclays, Citi and Deutsche Bank all paying about S$9.6k (US$6.8k). International firms generally give interns and full-time analysts similar monthly salaries. In Singapore, graduate analysts can earn up to S$11.1k (US$7.9k) a month, according to our recent salary survey – although unlike interns they also receive a bonus.
There’s a huge income gap, however, between international investment banks and Asian-focused firms like Standard Chartered and DBS, who pay only S$1.1k (US$0.8k) and S$2.9k (US$2k) a month respectively. “Intern pay in Singapore is linked closely to the ‘tier’ of the bank. Bulge pay bulge, mid-tier banks pay mid-tier salaries – it’s logical,” says an intern at a UK bank in Singapore.
The global players are only generous to interns working in investment banking or sales and trading roles – Barclays pays about S$4k (US$2.8k) a month to mid-office interns, for example.
“Money is important to us in the way that it should be in a competitive banking market – who doesn't like more remuneration,” says an intern at a US bank in Singapore. “But the learning process during the internship is definitely important and knowing that we can secure a place in the bank is even more comforting,” she adds.
Being well paid for three months or so also gives interns their first taste of the huge earnings still on offer in investment banking, making them even more likely to want to return to the firm full-time. “Some students have never been paid a single cent before and then suddenly you’re getting paid higher than most adults – so yes, money does matter,” says the summer analyst at the British bank.