Performance and Growth


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
two years.

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 Year 2004/05.

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.