4,000 jobs to be created in financial services and fintech under MAS blueprint

From Tan Weizhen at TODAYonline:

“Three quarters of the new jobs will be added in the financial services sectors, and these cut across the areas of wealth management, insurance and IT, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said. The roles include those in investment advisory, risk modelling and artificial intelligence. The industry has been buffeted by disruption, posting job losses which are expected to continue especially for the more traditional roles.”

Just two days ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore released the Industry Transformation Map (ITM) for financial services, detailing growth strategies by business lines, programmes for upgrading skills, and an agenda for continuous innovation and technology adoption. Working closely with the financial industry and the tripartite movement, the MAS projected a growth rate in the financial sector of 4.3% per annum and productivity of 2.4% annually.

The ITM is built upon MAS’ vision for Singapore to be a leading global financial centre in Asia. Minister for Education and MAS board member, Mr Ong Ye Kung, described Singapore as one that connects global markets, supports Asia’s development and serves Singapore’s economy. With the rise of digital disruption such as artificial intelligence and robo-advisors, Singapore will need to continue to innovate to stay ahead.

While the creation of 4,000 jobs might seem idealistic, the MAS is determined to be net gainers in this era of change. The ITM strategies also include building private market funding platforms to enable startups to gain access to a wider array of investors, which could be done through crowdfunding platforms, apart from the traditional route of IPOs. Continue reading

Propelling Singaporean SMEs to greater heights with fintech

From Rakesh Bhatia at Singapore Business Review:

“According to the January 2017 report by Hootsuite and We Are Social Singapore, there are currently 644.1 million people in Southeast Asia. Of which, 53% are internet users making the region ripe for growth and expansion for Fintech adoption… In Singapore, the launch of the Smart Nation initiative has identified fintech as an emerging industry. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is leading by implementing a regulatory sandbox that enables entrepreneurs to innovate further.”

Fintech refers to any new innovations in how people conduct business transactions, with the use of current technology. Since the invention of fiat currency, the recent explosion of Mobile Payments, Blockchain technology, Peer to peer Lending etc, has revolutionised the global Fintech landscape. Processes which were once handled with paper money and human interactions are now being replaced with digital currency and online transactions. With the inexorable advent of Fintech, comes significant changes and the implementation of regulations from the government. In Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) implementation of a regulatory sandbox, enables financial institutions and Fintech players to experiment with promising innovations in the market within the regulatory framework as stipulated by MAS. Based on the experiment, MAS will then decide on appropriate measures to change specific legal and regulatory requirements.

In addition, MAS commitment of S$225 million to help financial firms set up innovation labs and fund infrastructure to deliver Fintech services will lower the barriers of entry for startups and SMEs. With SMEs contributing to a large part of the economy, Fintech players provide SMEs the opportunity to secure loans, which they often find difficulties from traditional financial institutions. Where banks find loans under S$100,000 risky and time consuming, peer to peer lending platforms are more flexible with loan amounts. This would often lead to faster approvals and quicker funding for SMEs. Continue reading