The manpower shortage is forcing banks and IT firms to consider moving their middle and back-end functions offshore, a shift that could hit business parks that house these operations. The warning came from a Standard Chartered Research report that noted how new rules that kicked in on 1 Jan made it significantly harder for firms to obtain employment passes for expatriates earning $3,000 to $5,000 a month. As a result, four to five banks are considering relocating some functions outside Singapore as they are struggling to fill back-office positions while keeping a lid on costs.