The Asian graveyard is already overflowing with FILTH types

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They used to be known as FILTH (failed in London, try Hong Kong). Nowadays, they appear to be known less derisorily (and slightly bizarrely, given Asia's also in the northern hemisphere) as 'northern hemisphere bankers.' Either way, Western bankers aren't wanted any more in Asia.

This is a shame given that the past week has been notable for the number of banks conspicuously jumping on the Asian expansion bandwagon.

First there was Citigroup (building its Asian retail network), then BofA Merrill Lynch (rebuilding Merrill's Asian investment banking franchise), and today we have Deutsche Bank (planning to 'expand aggressively its equity capital markets and merger advisory operations in Asia.')

Despite all this expansion, as Robert Rankin, chief executive of Deutsche's regional operations in Asia, points out in today's FT, the emphasis is on hiring people locally rather than importing regulatory migrants from London and Wall Street.

"The graveyard is full of northern hemisphere bankers who came out to Asia and haven't made it," Rankin reflects.

Recruiters in Asia confirm Westerners are absent from their shopping lists.

"At the moment, more experienced deal makers are needed at VP level and above," James Carss, director of banking and financial services at Hudson in Asia told our Singapore site. "Mandarin speaking is really beneficial, as is local knowledge. Many overseas candidates apply for these roles, but lack the skillsets," he adds.

"There are a lot of Westerners in Hong Kong, but most of them have already got a developed client base," agrees Justin McLennan, a director at Pelham Search Pacific. "If you don't have an understanding of the local client base and local markets, people are going to question what you're bringing to the table."

Even Singapore, which has traditionally embraced expat workers enthusiastically is now having second thoughts. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that questions are being raised about the arrival of so many foreigners, who've served to push up prices and make the island more congested for native Singaporeans.

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