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Singapore’s Financial Services Industry Transformation Map aims to create 1

Singapore’s Financial Services Industry Transformation Map aims to create 1,000 net FinTech jobs annually

Above image credit: MAS

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today released
the industry transformation map (ITM) for financial
services. It outlines growth strategies by business lines, programmes for
upgrading skills, and an agenda for continuous innovation and technology
adoption.

Speaking
at the launch of the ITM, Mr. Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher
Education and Skills) and MAS Board Member, described MAS’ vision for Singapore
to be a leading global financial centre in Asia – one that connects global
markets, supports Asia’s development, and serves Singapore’s economy.

The ITM was drawn up by MAS in close consultation with the
financial industry and the tripartite
movement
(industry associations, labour movement, and government). It takes
into consideration the technological disruption in the production, delivery and
consumption of financial services and aims to achieve growth in financial
sector real value-added of 4.3% and productivity of 2.4% annually, faster than
the overall economy. The ITM also aims to create 3,000 net jobs in financial
services, and an additional 1,000 net jobs in the FinTech sector annually.

Strategies

The ITM aims to make Singapore aims a leading international
wealth management hub. MAS is working with the industry to develop Singapore
into a centre of excellence for wealth management technology and innovation,
and deepen the talent. MAS is also leveraging on its external fund management
programme to anchor deeper asset management capabilities in Singapore and
working with the industry to position Singapore as a regional fund
domiciliation hub through the Singapore Variable Capital Company framework. Singapore
is currently the third largest FX centre globally. With Asia expected to
attract a larger share of global investment flows, MAS will encourage key FX
players to anchor their matching and pricing engines here.  

To support Asia’s development, MAS is working with the
industry to develop Singapore as an Asian centre for capital raising and
enterprise financing, as a full service Asian infrastructure financing hub, a leading
centre for Asian fixed income and a global capital for Asian insurance and risk
transfer.

MAS is working with the industry to transform the insurance
marketplace through centralised blockchain platforms which will allow for more
efficient risk placements, and create specialist insurance solutions to address
emerging risks in the region. Innovation and Regulation.

Facilitating
innovation

A key focus of the ITM will be to facilitate pervasive
innovation in the financial sector and encourage the adoption of technology for
increasing efficiency and creating opportunity. Towards this objective, MAS
plans to step up efforts to encourage financial institutions to enhance
connectivity and FinTech innovation through Application Programming Interfaces
(APIs).

MAS will also collaborate with financial institutions to
create common utilities, such as for electronic payments, digital ID, and electronic
know-your-client
checks.

In his speech, Mr. Ong talked about MAS working with the
banking industry to launch FAST, three years ago, to conduct direct real-time
transfers between bank accounts. This year, the banks launched
PayNow
, which links bank accounts to NRIC or mobile numbers, making
transfers more convenient.  PayNow is supposed to activate the full
potential of FAST. It currently works only for P2P, but will be progressively
expanded for P2B and B2B next year, Mr. Ong revealed.  To further
facilitate this, a common
QR code
will be introduced by the end of the year, that can accept all
payments using QR readers

MAS will facilitate and invest in R&D to develop new
solutions, including the use of distributed ledger technology for inter-bank
payments and trade finance, while expanding the web of cross-border cooperation
agreements with other key FinTech centres, helping to grow Singapore as a base
for foreign FinTech start-ups. Technology will be harnessed to simplify
financial institutions’ regulatory compliance.

MAS will continue to enhance its regulatory approach, to
support enterprise and innovation, while maintaining financial soundness. Key
priorities include ensuring that regulations are supportive of innovative
business models and strengthening the cyber resilience of financial
institutions.

MAS will guide market developments, to ensure that
competition stays open, solutions are inter-operable, and consumers’
convenience is enhanced but it cannot dictate individual solutions.

MAS has been one of the early pioneers of the regulatory
sandbox
, to facilitate experiments and innovation. Mr. Ong said, “In
August this year, we had our first graduate from the sandbox, PolicyPal, which
uses technology to help users manage their insurance policies, as well as
identify duplicate or missing coverage. Another entity, Kristal Advisors, which
provides AI powered online investment advisory and management strategies, is
currently operating in the sandbox. Several more are in the midst of preparing
their launch in the sandbox.” 

Jobs and Skills

 An active
SkillsFuture programme to help the financial sector workforce build world-class
skills and maintain a strong Singapore Core will complement the business
strategies and innovation agenda. (Financial
services is one of the eight priority areas, in which SkillsFuture launched
a series of training programmes
on October 28. This sector is led by the Singapore Management University.
)

Job roles are expected to evolve with digitisation and
automation and the ITM notes that existing professionals must be equipped with new
skills and competencies.

MAS will continue to collaborate with financial
institutions, the tripartite partners, and institutes of higher learning to
build a strong local pipeline of specialised talent, particularly in
information technology. It will help reskill and redeploy professionals into
job growth areas through professional conversion programmes and facilitate job
placements through enhanced career advisory services.



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