Singapore to create up to 20,000 finance jobs over five years

(Bloomberg) – Singapore aims to create up to 20,000 finance jobs over five years as the government seeks to strengthen areas such as wealth management and sustainable finance.

The Asian financial hub is expected to add 3,000 to 4,000 net jobs on average every year from 2021 to 2025, while the financial sector will see growth of 4 to 5 percent annually in the plan unveiled by the Monetary Authority of Singapore on Thursday.

The push to improve Singapore’s competitiveness as a global financial center comes against a backdrop of a bleaker economic outlook. The country’s political stability attracts wealthy people from around the world, a key advantage as it competes with Hong Kong and London to manage global wealth flows. The financial sector represents 14% of the country’s gross domestic product.

The MAS “will work with the financial industry to deepen its capabilities in asset classes in which Singapore plays a key regional or global role”, in areas such as foreign exchange and private capital markets, he said. .

The Asian financial hub said last month it was revising visa rules to attract foreign workers, allowing foreigners earning a minimum of 30,000 Singapore dollars ($21,338) a month to obtain a work permit of five years. It is the latest in a series of decisions taken this year which aim to remedy a still tight labor market and attract international companies.

Singapore exceeded targets set in its previous five-year plan ending in 2020, having created more than 20,000 jobs and attracted $2.56 billion in fintech investment in total, MAS said.

More than 209,000 people were employed in the financial services sector last year, nearly 13% above the 2016 level, according to government data, with global banks including Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC Holdings Plc with significant operations in the city-state.

The plan is “a clear signal from MAS to stay ahead of changing trends and ensure that Singapore maintains its position and relevance as a leading and open financial hub,” said Amol Gupte, responsible for Citigroup for South and Southeast Asia. The New York-based company has more than 8,500 people in Singapore and is one of the largest employers of foreign banks.

Chandra Mallika, Deutsche Bank AG’s Country Director for Singapore, also voiced support for the plan in a statement, saying the bank was working with authorities on multiple initiatives, including digitizing financial infrastructure, currencies and sustainability.

Other highlights of the regulator’s roadmap for the sector:

  • Plans to become Asia’s center for philanthropy
  • Providing S$100 million ($71 million) grants for businesses, including green fintech, climate risk solutions and sustainable finance
  • Develop cross-border payment links and support the tokenization of financial assets and the real economy
  • Providing S$400 million in funding to help professionals advance their careers

(Adds labor data to seventh paragraph, banking comments from eighth.)

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