A Deep Pool of Expertise
In 2003, the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) established the
Financial Industry Competency Standards (FICS) Committee to spearhead
a new industry initiative. The FICS was tasked with establishing a
competency standards and certification framework aligned with international
standards for developing a world-class talent pool. The overarching
framework for the competency standards, and the associated curriculum
and certification programmes are expected to be completed by June
2005. IBF aims to launch the competency standards, curriculum and
certification programmes for four pilot job families (namely Trading,
Claims Handling General Insurance and Life Insurance, and Relationship
Management for High Net Worth Individuals) in September 2005. Those
for the remaining 48 job families will be implemented over the next
MAS also launched the Financial Sector Manpower Conversion Scheme
(FSMCS) in June 2004 to encourage the re-channeling of manpower into
new growth areas within the financial sector. Customised conversion
training programmes in settlement operations and private banking were
launched in September and October 2004 respectively. The programmes
were well received with over 197 participants trained in Financial
Year 2004/05. We plan to launch another conversion programme in middle
office product control in 2005.
In the area of continuous employment training, MAS co-funds training
expenses under the Financial Training Scheme from the Financial Sector
Development Fund (FSDF). Our aim is to encourage financial institutions
to constantly upgrade the skills and expertise of their staff. In
total, 1,721 trainees benefited from such training grants in Financial
Besides concentrating on working professionals, MAS works with the
industry and tertiary institutions to ensure a steady supply of graduates
in new growth areas. We hold regular sessions with the financial institutions
to understand their manpower or skills gaps. We then help academic
institutions align their curriculum to address these gaps. In this
way, undergraduates will be equipped with the relevant knowledge and
skills to join the financial sector.
We also briefed career counsellors from institutes of higher learning
on the types of jobs available and skills required for such openings.
With a deeper understanding of the industry, these counsellors can
better advise their students on future careers in the financial sector.
From 2005, the IBF will continue with such pre-employment training
initiatives by leveraging on the FICS study.