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

Why e-commerce firms could replace banks as the region’s leading lenders

From Euan Black on Southeast Asia Globe:

“Peer to peer lending (P2P lending) first entered the wider public’s consciousness when it rose from the ashes of the global financial crisis in 2007. By cutting out traditional intermediaries, such as banks, the lending platforms, were able to offer borrowers lower interest rates and lenders higher returns. They were populist alternatives to the casino capitalism that had brought Wall Street to its knees. Now, they are being mooted as an effective way for Southeast Asia’s emerging economies to overcome the challenge of limited access to funding – and the combination of increasing smartphone penetration and a large unbanked population means it has the potential to dramatically disrupt the regional financial order.

According to data from Singapore-based venture capital fund Dymon Asia Ventures, less than 0.1% of loans in the region currently originate from P2P lending sources, compared with 10% in China and 2-3% in the UK and US. There is, therefore, sufficient growth potential for the Southeast Asian P2P lending market.”

With  large number of underbanked small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Southeast Asia, P2P lending market leaders who fill in the gap between what traditional financial institutions commit to deliver and what the SMEs desire could potentially reap the benefit of the rising market and rewrite the regional financial order.

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