6-figure a month for private banker?


In perhaps another “forward looking” article in today’s Straits Times, it’s mentioned that graduates are “rushing” into private banking and wealth management.

What’s forward looking is perhaps the talk of these private bankers earning “five- or even six-figure pay packets in a month.”


But let’s do a reality check.

A 6-figure monthly paycheck implies more than $1m in annual income. Recall the famous graph published in ST during the ministerial salary hike debate:

Top 1000 earners in 2006

The graph shows that the 1,000th earner in the year 2006 makes about $1m that year.

So how many of the top 1,000 are private bankers? For the sake of discussion, let’s make the assumption that there’s an equal distribution of lawyers, accountants, bankers, MNC executives, local manufacturers and top government officials in the top 1,000 earners. (I did not include top engineers because their pay is shamefully low. See my post on ministerial salary benchmark.)

So out of the 1,000 top earners, we have 167 bankers. Say half of these are private bankers (the rest could be investment bankers, corporate bankers, top banking executives, etc).

This gives us only 80+ private bankers making a 6-figure monthly salary. I bet the actual figure is even lower.

So, if you are thinking of becoming a 6-figure private banker, you should also consider other options. Maybe it’s as easy, or even easier, to be a 6-figure civil servant. Relatively speaking.


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  1. A junior could expect to earn S$70k to S$100k in overall compensation; a mid-level banker might earn S$100k to S$160k; while the most experienced candidates could earn around S$500k.

  2. According to Business Times, a large percentage of the CEOs and MDs in Singapore are engineers. So while those working as engineers are lowly paid, their engineering background may help them to move up the ladder and they earn millions.

  3. Pingback: 100k for Assistant Private Banker | Salary.sg - Your Salary in Singapore

  4. Me too is sceptical about 6 figure monthly income.

    Sounds like a Toto strike perhaps. Not too sure abt private bankers making much more than MNCs CEO in monthly income comparison.

    What do all of you think ?

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