• Tue
  • Sep 23, 2014
  • Updated: 9:32pm
BusinessBanking & Finance

Stressed, overworked bankers among psychiatry specialists' regulars

Many overworked finance industry staff are seeking psychiatric help, doctors reveal

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 February, 2014, 12:06am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 February, 2014, 5:27pm

Psychiatry specialists say investment bankers and financial services workers are among those who seek help from them most often and some are already suicidal when they arrive.

Dr Ting Sik-chuen said that two in 10 of his clients are investment bankers or workers in the financial services industry. This compares with one teacher and one accountant out of 10 clients.

"They're always working around the clock and don't get much rest. That poses a threat to their mental health," the former chairman of the Society of Psychiatrists said.

He was speaking after JPMorgan investment banker Dennis Li Junjie, 33, leapt to his death from the roof of the firm's headquarters in Central on Tuesday. Li recently told a colleague he was under heavy work-related stress.

Ting said some of his clients were investment bankers in their early 30s who had a tough time because of their long working hours and tremendous stress. Other clients included bankers newly promoted to middle management who found it hard to direct their teams' performances.

"They said the competition in the past was against other banks. Now the competition is among teams within the same company," he said.

Many teachers also seek help from Ting because of pressure from parents and schools. Accountants are also regular clients because they work long hours under great stress.

Dr Tsang Fan-kwong, the society's incumbent chairman, said one in 10 of his clients were investment bankers or financial service practitioners, while many teachers and disciplined services officers also sought help.

"Investment bankers are perfectionists. They have a higher chance of getting frustrated and developing depression. They are responsible for millions of their clients' money, so the stress is really high," he said.

"Many already have depression when they come to me. They can't focus at work, have lost weight and suffer from insomnia. Some already have suicidal tendencies when they meet me."

He advised bankers to reduce stress by doing cardio exercise like running for an hour every other day. If they were too busy, they should practise rhythmic breathing three times a day.


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This article is now closed to comments

Everyone needs to make choices about quality of life vs making money. For those in the rat race, it never ends.
Another angle. I find it hard to believe the the legions of low-wage earners that work in the fast-food industry, retail sector (who also work long hours and deal with sometimes very aggressive and unreasonable customers on a minute by minute basis) don't suffer from the same levels of depression and stress.
If you break down the number of suicides, i'd estimate the bulk are either unemployed or underemployed and represent the lowest income earners in society.
The difference? Those occupations can't afford to see a specialist. So its probably best to be balanced about whether bankers should be singled out.
If you can't handle the stress that comes with the pay and the long hours, then you're not up to it and should just leave the industry...........no psychiatric help can help you with that.


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