S’pore unveils plan to create 4,000 finance sector jobs
SINGAPORE: Singapore wants to bolster its status as a wealth management and foreign-exchange centre as part of plans to create more financial-sector jobs and mitigate the effect of rapid changes in technology.
In a plan unveiled yesterday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it aimed to create 4,000 net new jobs in financial services and financial technology, and achieve real growth in the sector of 4.3% annually, faster than the overall economy.
“With technology transforming the way financial services are produced, delivered and consumed, it is critical that Singapore’s financial sector also transforms, to stay relevant and competitive,” the MAS said in a statement.
Banks around the world are cutting jobs as the industry is transformed by digital technology, and the application of artificial intelligence and robotics. Vikram Pandit, former Citigroup Inc CEO, has predicted some 30% of banking jobs will disappear over the next five years.
The MAS listed three elements to its so-called industry transformation map for financial services. It said Singapore aims to be:
> A leading international wealth management hub. The MAS said it’s working with the industry to develop Singapore as a “centre of excellence for wealth management technology and innovation”.
> An Asian hub for asset management, and a place where more funds are domiciled.
> A global foreign exchange price discovery and liquidity centre in the Asian time zone. Singapore is currently the third largest foreign-exchange center globally. The MAS said it will encourage key participants to “anchor their matching and pricing engines here, to enable market participants to benefit from
better liquidity and greater efficiency in executing FX transactions.”
Singapore is projecting a 4.3% annual growth rate for the financial sector through 2020, higher than the planned overall economic growth of 2% to 3% included in a set of national strategies unveiled in February. The financial sector accounts for about 13% of Singapore’s gross domestic product and employs around 200,000 people.
Assets under management grew 7% last year to S$2.7 trillion (RM8.4 trillion), according to MAS data published in September.
It’s a good time to set financial sector priorities because the macro-economic environment is improving, said Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp’s chief executive officer Sam Tsien.
“That being the case, it is even more important for us to get the infrastructure ready, so that we have the people, the technology and the regulatory-facilitating facilities,” Tsien said yesterday.