SINGAPORE: More than 9,400 new jobs in the financial sector will be on offer this year, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) estimates.
At least 3,000 of these will be in tech, including 700 roles for software developers and engineers, who are in high demand, said MAS chief Ravi Menon on Thursday (May 19).
The new hires will work in digital finance, blockchain technology and explore the use of artificial intelligence to detect fraud and money laundering.
At the opening of the Singapore Financial Forum on Thursday, Mr Menon said “Singapore’s financial centre is doing exceedingly well, and prospects remain bright for the years ahead”.
The COVID-19 pandemic did not dent the growth of the financial sector, which grew “four times faster than the overall economy”, Mr Menon said.
The sector grew by an annual average of 7.2 per cent in 2020-21 and created 5,800 jobs in financial services in the last two years.
Singapore is also now home to more than 50 global and regional innovation labs and 1,400 fintech firms, Mr Menon added.
Besides private markets, wealth management and insurance, Mr Menon said technology - the “digital transformation” of banks and insurers - and the rise of sustainable finance will further drive the sector’s growth.
WELCOMING GLOBAL TALENT “A NECESSITY”
Mr Menon said that to continue to be a leading international financial centre in Asia, the country needs a strong "Singaporean Core" strategy.
This means that Singapore needs to grow a strong local talent pool and attract global talent, he added.
Mr Menon clarified that this is different from a "Singaporeans only" strategy, which "will be fatal for Singapore as a global financial centre as there are simply not enough locals to meet the fast-expanding specialist needs of financial institutions”.
It is about ensuring fair hiring opportunities and “building good skills and capabilities” in local workers, and helping them to advance in their careers, the MAS chief said.
According to MAS estimates, more than 3,000 Singapore citizens held senior roles in the financial sector in 2020, an jump of more than 80 per cent compared to 2016.
Mr Menon said that staying open to global talent has been “critical” to the growth and success of Singapore as a financial centre.
“Welcoming global talent is not a choice, it is a necessity,” he said, because the rapid growth of the financial sector is creating more jobs than Singapore’s small local workforce can meet.
Mr Menon also touched on the recent changes to the Employment Pass (EP) framework.
He said the purpose of the new requirements is “not to reduce the intake of (EP) holders … (but) to enable the entry of high-quality global talent in a more transparent and flexible way to complement the local workforce in Singapore.
The two-day financial forum, which is taking place virtually, aims to give finance professionals an opportunity to hear industry leaders on key developments and outlook in fintech, sustainable finance and wealth management.