With the global economy on the rebound, Singapore’s finance sector is revving up for a hiring spree. Over 9,400 new jobs are expected to be created this year, with around a third of them in tech-related roles, according to the city-state’s central bank.
This is good news for those in the tech industry looking for a change of pace, or even those considering a switch to finance. Of the 3,000-plus tech jobs on offer, 700 will be for software developers and engineers, said Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) chief Ravi Menon on Thursday.
These roles are expected to “support the design and development of digital financial services and trade finance, blockchain technology, and use of artificial intelligence to detect fraud and money laundering.”
In his opening address at the inaugural Singapore Financial Forum (SgFF), Menon said the finance sector in the city-state is very buoyant and set to grow even further. And while Singapore continues to attract global talent, the focus is also on building a strong local talent pool.
“It is not a ‘Singaporeans-only’ strategy. If we do not remain open to global talent, our financial sector will lose its competitiveness and growth will be sub-par,” Menon said.
According to him, a locals-only strategy would be a death knell for Singapore as a global financial center because there aren’t enough locals to fulfill the rapidly expanding specialist roles needed by financial institutions. He also encouraged Singaporeans based overseas to return and join the city’s finance sector.
MAS is working with Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) to support mid-career professionals who are looking to transition into finance, Menon said. A three-month IBF-WSG programme for those interested in wealth management will be launched, and seven major retail banks are taking part to fill around 200 roles.
Currently, Singapore hosts more than 1,400 fintech firms. In 2021, the city-state recorded $3.9 billion in fintech investments, up from $2.5 billion in 2020. Across Southeast Asia, investors poured a total of $3.5 billion into the region’s fintech scene from January to September 2021 – more than 2020’s total injections.
Anand Sanwal, founder of CB Insights, says fintech disruption around the world will continue to gather pace, as the sector is being accelerated by two main factors: the “tsunami of fintech capital” flooding innovative fintech start-ups, and the “great financial services unbundling.”
Sanwal also says that the disruption will happen “gradually and then suddenly.”