The tripartite partners in Singapore’s banking industry launched today an advisory on good human resource (HR) practices for banks as they gear up to create jobs and build skills for the future. The tripartite advisory sets out good practices in hiring, reskilling, redeployment and retrenchment, and encourages banks to equip their workforce with relevant skills and capabilities to meet the future needs of the industry.

Developed jointly by The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), the advisory is one of the initiatives under the jobs and skills agenda of the Financial Services Industry Transformation Map (ITM). The advisory provides guidance on developing a deep and diverse talent pool of local and foreign professionals, which will benefit both employers and employees in the banking industry.

A joint media release by the relevant parties said the shift in focus will be important as more jobs are transformed by technology and finance professionals re-skill and move into new jobs. The advisory calls on banks to:

  • proactively assess the likely impact of technological changes on their workforce, and work with the MAS, Institute of Banking and Finance, and Workforce Singapore to reskill and redeploy their professionals into areas of job growth through professional conversion programmes;
  • adopt inclusive hiring practices which focus on the skills required to perform the job rather than set a strict minimum number of years of experience; and
  • conduct any retrenchment exercise responsibly and work with tripartite partners to support affected employees.

Speaking at the launch event, Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance, said the advisory calls for all stakeholders – the banks, unions, employees, and government – to work together to transform the industry’s workforce to take on the jobs of the future. SMS Indranee stressed that even as the financial sector continued to have access to the best regional and global talent, it was important to build a strong Singapore Core.

Ms Jacqueline Loh, Deputy Managing Director, MAS, said, “MAS takes an active interest in the HR policies and practices of our major financial institutions. Sound HR practices are critical to building the skills and competencies that are necessary for a versatile and resilient financial sector workforce with a strong Singapore Core. We look forward to working closely with the banks to promote the practices set out in the advisory.”

Mr Piyush Gupta, Chairman, ABS, said, “As global competition intensifies and technological disruption reshapes our industry, we must do more to sharpen our competitiveness. Working together with tripartite partners, we can better equip our people with the relevant skills and build capabilities for the future. This will enable us to create better experiences and business outcomes for customers, and strengthen our status as a global financial centre.”

Mr Terence Ho, Divisional Director, Manpower Planning and Policy, MOM, said, “To meet the manpower needs of the banking sector, we have been working closely with MAS to speed up the development and transfer of new capabilities for the sector. In particular, support is available to banks through Adapt and Grow and SkillsFuture progammes, as well as the Capability Transfer Programme.”

Mr Patrick Tay, Assistant Secretary-General, NTUC, said, “I am glad that the Financial Sector is the first Sector that has taken the lead with this advisory emanating from the work of the Financial Services Tripartite Committee and the Financial Sector’s ITM. The Labour Movement will continue to collaborate with the tripartite partners to nurture and develop our working people so they will benefit from better careers and development opportunities in a progressive work environment.”

Mr Edwin Lye, Group Director, Industrial Relations and Workplace Partnerships, SNEF, said, “The financial sector will continue to be open to international talent and remain dynamic. The tripartite partners and relevant agencies are working together and facilitating banks’ efforts to upgrade, deepen skills and reskill their workers to operate in the new business environment. This will strengthen our competitiveness as a global financial hub.”