Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Bankers, it may be time to request a transfer, or just start packing your bags.Because even though the hate-fest on financial professionals has been non-stop since the 2008 financial crisis in the Western world, the sentiment is the complete opposite in Asia.
The Wall Street Journal reports that bankers in Asia are near celebrity-status for being credited with a decades-long economic boom. Banks in developing Asian countries also avoided the brunt of the financial crisis because of restructuring in the 1990s.
From the WSJ:
One senior banker who recently moved to Hong Kong from London said he was relieved to be back in an environment where the focus is on making money and where he is no longer ashamed to admit he’s a banker. Another Asian banker, who recently returned to Singapore from a sojourn in London, said, “Man, I’m glad to be out of there.”
The starring example of the celebrity treatment for bankers is Teh Hong Piow, the founder of Malaysia’s Public Bank Berhad. According to Forbes, Teh Hong Piow’s banking company is the third-largest in Malaysia, and he is worth about $4.7 billion.
Piow is venerated to near-God status in Malaysia. In August, Kuala Lumpur honored Teh Hong Piow and his bank’s 45th birthday with a public parade that some said would have made North Korea’s Kim Jong Il jealous. We posted a video of it here.
Youtube videos of the event was an instant Internet sensation. The parade consisted of beautiful dancers and songs thanking Teh Hong Piow for what his services. Teh Hong Piow rode in on the main event sitting atop a white car like a king on a throne.
And that was just this year’s celebration. Last year’s perk may have even topped the royal treatment — for Teh Hong Piow’s 80th birthday in 2010, his employees got Malaysian supermodel Amber Chia to drive him around in a golf cart as a present.