Singapore | Leading financial centre in Asia
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Singapore MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon: 7.2% Growth, 5,800 New Jobs Created, 500 VCC Incorporated, Family Office & Private Market Growth, 1,400 Fintech Companies

20th May 2022 | Singapore

Singapore central bank Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Managing Director Ravi Menon gave a speech at the Singapore Financial Forum 2022 on 19th May 2022, highlighting key developments in Singapore as a financial centre including Singapore financial centre growing 7.2% (2020 & 2021), more than 500 VCC (variable capital companies) incorporated since launch in 2020, growth in Private Markets (Private Equity, Venture capital), growth in family office & ecosystem, broad-based growth in Banking, Insurance, Asset management & Payment Services, new opportunities in financial technology & sustainable investments, over $3.9 billion Fintech Investments in Singapore (2021) with 1,400 FinTech firms, and strategy on growing strong local (Singapore) talent pool & attracting high quality global talent.  Singapore MAS is also seeking industry feedback in next 1 – 2 months to identify roles where there is a shortage.  Key highlights below, view the full speech here.

“ 7.2% Growth, 5,800 New Jobs Created, 500 VCC Incorporated, Family Office & Private Market Growth, 1,400 Fintech Companies “

 



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Key Highlights – Overview

Singapore | Leading financial centre in Asia

 

Key Highlights – Overview
  • Singapore Financial Centre grew 7.2% (2020 & 2021)
  • Singapore: 5,800 net new jobs created in financial sector (2020 & 2021)
  • Grown as a leading fund management and domiciliation hub
  • Broad-based growth: Banking, Insurance, Asset management, Payment Services.
  • 500 VCC (variable capital companies) incorporated since launch (15th Jan 2020)
  • Asia’s leading foreign exchange centre (#1), with FX trading volume growing 13% yearly (average, 2017 to 2021)
  • Powering Asia’s development, infrastructure investment growing 5x & project finance growing 80% (2016 to 2020)
  • 2022 GDP Growth forecast: 3% to 5%
  • Asia Development Bank (ADB): Estimates strong exports & domestic demand to drive Asia growth at > 5% yearly
  • Private Markets: Singapore private equity and venture capital ecosystem is providing smart capital and business networks
  • Family Office: Singapore family office ecosystem is helping wealthy Asian families to professionalise managing their wealth, support their interests impact investments, and wealth transfer to next generation
  • Insurance: To provide risk advisory services (cyber-attacks, pandemic, climate risks)
  • Singapore: Over 50 global & regional innovation labs, More than 1,400 FinTech firms.
  • 2021: $3.9 billion FinTech investments in Singapore (2020: $2.5 billion)

 

Key Highlights – Opportunities
  • Singapore Financial Institutions: Making significant investments in technology
  • Banks & Insurers: Accelerating digital transformation, Hiring in application development, data science, artificial intelligence.
  • New & Promising Growth: Sustainable Finance (Transit to Low Carbon Economy)
  • MAS 2022 Estimates: 9,400 new jobs, 3,000 in technology
  • High demand for Software developers & engineers: More than 700 new jobs
  • MAS Key Priority: Support financial institutions to access the talent they need to grow
  • Strategy: Grow strong local talent pool, attract high quality global talent
  • In 2022: More than 3,000 Singapore Citizens held senior roles in financial centre, increase of 80% (2016)
  • Polytechnic graduates: 5,000 to 6,000 new graduates yearly, only 3% join financial sector. 
  • New Wealth Management Accelerator Programme (WMAP): 3 months program for mid-career professionals with passion for customer relationship management and interest in pursuing a career in wealth management.
  • Overseas Singaporeans working in finance & technology: Many returning Singaporeans have progressed well in their careers and taken on leadership roles. They have a solid understanding of overseas markets, useful networks, and good experience working in a cross-cultural environment.
  • Employment Pass Quota: No quotas on Employment Pass holders
  • MAS seeks industry feedback in next 1 – 2 months, identify roles where there is a shortage

 

Economy, Asia Growth
  • Russia-Ukraine conflict generated global growth & inflation risks
  • Recovery of global economy from COVID-19 and easing restrictions will provide support to economic activity
  • Asian growth story remains intact, Singapore financial centre is well positioned to support & grow with Asia
  • Asia Development Bank (ADB): Estimates strong exports & domestic demand to drive Asia growth at > 5% yearly
  • Demand for financial services typically grows faster than income (Middle class & mass affluent expands)

 

New Capabilities to Financial Sector
  • Private Markets: Singapore private equity and venture capital ecosystem is providing smart capital and business networks
  • Wealth Management: Singapore family office ecosystem is helping wealthy Asian families to professionalise managing their wealth, support their interests impact investments, and wealth transfer to next generation
  • Insurance: To provide risk advisory services (cyber-attacks, pandemic, climate risks)

 

Financial Sector: Technology (Growth Driver)

  • Singapore Financial Institutions: Making significant investments in technology
  • Banks & Insurers: Accelerating digital transformation, Hiring in application development, data science, artificial intelligence.
  • OCBC: To hire 1,500 over next 3 years, majority based in Singapore
  • Bank of America: Had based 1 of 2 overseas global cyber security centres in Singapore, 800 headcount focused on technology
  • Shanghai Pudong Development Bank: Setup first overseas innovation centre in Singapore
  • SCOR (Reinsurer): Established innovation labs in Singapore

 

Financial Sector: Innovation Hub
  • Singapore: Over 50 global & regional innovation labs, More than 1,400 FinTech firms.
  • 2021: $3.9 billion FinTech investments in Singapore (2020: $2.5 billion)
  • Leading players have anchored their operations in Singapore
  • JP Morgan partners with DBS & Temasek, setup Partior (multi-currency, cross-border settlement platform, leveraging blockchain technology)
  • R3 (a global distributed ledger technology provider & banking consortium) : Setup innovation hub in Singapore, regional headquarter for Asia.

 

New & Promising Growth: Sustainable Finance (Transit to Low Carbon Economy)
  • United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Reducing emissions is urgent
  • All sectors of economy need to achieve progressive & deep emission reductions.
  • Around $2 trillion in infrastructure investments over the next decade to enable Southeast Asia’s transition towards sustainability

 

Singapore Comprehensive Ecosystem: Green & Transition Financing
  • Aligning financing efforts with credible sectoral transition plans, clarity about transition pathways & carbon emission targets. Generates investor confidence and catalyses greater sustainable finance flows.
  • Promoting blended finance solutions, where targeted risk sharing by governments or multilateral development banks can crowd in private capital more effectively.
  • Enhance collection of emissions data, develop credible transition taxonomies, implement consistent climate-related reporting and disclosure standards.
  • Key MAS initiative: Project Greenprint (Common utility platforms)
  • Project Greenprint: Use technology to address the financial sector’s sustainability data needs, enable a more transparent, trusted & efficient ESG ecosystem that can catalyse green and sustainable finance.

 

Singapore Financial Centre: Jobs
  • MAS 2022 Estimates: 9,400 new jobs, 3,000 in technology
  • High demand for Software developers & engineers: More than 700 new jobs
  • Technology Jobs:  Develop digital finance services, blockchain technology in trade finance, artificial intelligence to detect fraud & money laundering.
  • Sustainable Finance Jobs:  Execute of ESG transactions to advisory services and product development.
  • Sustainable Finance Jobs: Tap traditional finance expertise such as product structuring, risk management, reporting and pricing, but layered and infused with new knowledge on sustainability.

 

Global Competition for Talent
  • Compete for Talent: The rare skills in many areas of finance (eg. technology, sustainability)
  • MAS Key Priority: Support financial institutions to access the talent they need to grow
  • Strategy: Grow strong local talent pool, attract high quality global talent
  • Key note: Singaporean Core strategy is not a “Singaporeans only” strategy
  • As a global financial centre: Not enough locals to meet the fast-expanding specialist needs of financial institutions
  • Promoting a strong Singaporean Core: Build good skills & capabilities, ensure fair hiring opportunities, help to equip them to do well in their jobs and advance in their careers.
  • In 2022: More than 3,000 Singapore Citizens held senior roles in financial centre, increase of 80% (2016)
  • Benefits of strong Singaporean Core: Substance in operations, resilience in staff capacity, provide local & regional networks, good sense of customers & markets. 
  • MAS Schemes: Develop entry level, professional, specialist, leadership talent for financial sector

 

MAS to Increase Talent Development:
  • Polytechnic graduates: 5,000 to 6,000 new graduates yearly, only 3% join financial sector.  Quality of polytechnic graduates is high – as good as college graduates from many countries.  JP Morgan runs a 1-year apprenticeship programme for polytechnic graduates to experience working in corporate, operations, finance and technology roles within the firm.  (OCBC Bank co-designed with Ngee Ann Polytechnic a curated 12 months internship programme, provided 20 students with internships.  
  • Mid-career from other sectors: Already happening organically.  (Eg. BlackRock provides traineeship program. KPMG financial auditor becomes Head of ESG Research at Maitri Asset Management). Technology in Finance Immersion Programme (TFIP) by WSG & IBF, with 90% from 2019 cohort from non-tech jobs taken on jobs in financial institutions, another 530 are in 2020 and 2021 programs.  2022, 700 new slots. 
  • New Wealth Management Accelerator Programme (WMAP): 3 months program for mid-career professionals with passion for customer relationship management and interest in pursuing a career in wealth management.
  • Overseas Singaporeans working in finance & technology: Many returning Singaporeans have progressed well in their careers and taken on leadership roles. They have a solid understanding of overseas markets, useful networks, and good experience working in a cross-cultural environment.
  • Employment Pass Quota: No quotas on Employment Pass holders
  • New Employment Pass Complementary Assessment / COMPASS framework: Transparent points-based system, clearly lists out the criteria, flexible (falls short in certain criteria, can be offset by scoring in other criteria), framework facilitates applications where there is a skills shortage locally for specific job roles

MAS seeks industry feedback in next 1 – 2 months, identify roles where there is a shortage

“ Singapore’s financial centre is doing exceedingly well, and prospects remain bright for the years ahead “

 

Ravi Menon Managing Director Monetary Authority of Singapore

View the full speech by Ravi Menon, Monetary Authority of Singapore Managing Director at the Singapore Financial Forum 2022 on 19th May 2022.  Click here

 




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