Media Releases
Published Date: 23 April 2019

IBF-MAS study identifies skills for more competitive financial sector workforce

Singapore, 23 April 2019 – A studyThe study is titled “The Impact of Wider Integration of Data Analytics and Automation on Manpower in the Singapore Financial Services Sector”. commissioned by the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has set out how data analytics and automation are likely to augment or transform 121 job roles in Singapore’s financial sector over the next 3 to 5 years. 

The study, conducted by Ernst & Young over the last nine months and released today by Minister for Manpower, Mrs Josephine Teo, also identified the skills necessary to perform the new tasks enabled by data analytics and automation.

IBF and Workforce Singapore (WSG) today also launched the “Technology in Finance Immersion Programme” (TFIP) to help professionals start a career in technology through structured training and attachment in leading financial institutions.

The impact of data analytics and automation on manpower in the Singapore financial sector

The IBF-MAS study found that about half of the 121 job roles analysed would be augmented as individuals leverage these technologies to amplify their performance. Another one third of job roles would be transformed, as technology substitutes a significant proportion of job tasks, and remaining tasks across synergistic job roles converge into new roles. Across all job roles, individuals would be required to take on new or expanded tasks that have a higher element of judgement and creativity, while tasks of a more repetitive and rules-based nature are automated. The study also identified emerging job roles that would grow in demand with the adoption of data analytics and automation in the sector. 

The study is one of the most comprehensive of its type ever carried out globally. A total of 121 job roles across banking, capital markets, asset management and insurance sectors were mapped out, representing most jobs in the financial services industry. It provides a compass for financial institutions and individuals to prepare themselves for the future of work as the use of data analytics and automation become pervasive in the financial sector. A copy of the study report is available on the IBF and MAS websites .

“Business transformation alone is not enough.  We also need workforce transformation. This study will help us uplift our workforce, harness the power of data analytics and automation, and make Singapore’s financial centre more competitive,” said Mr Ng Nam Sin, Chief Executive Officer of IBF.

Mr Patrick Tay, Assistant Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), said, “Across all industries, emerging technologies are bringing about challenges and opportunities to businesses and workers alike. The study is a practical tool for financial institutions and workers to learn about the impact of key technology trends and prepare themselves as job roles evolve. Workers should stay agile and adaptable, adopt a growth mind set and embrace life-long learning, to grow professionally and enhance career opportunities. We look forward to further strengthen our tripartite partnership to facilitate proactive efforts in helping workers ride the wave of change.”

New programme for growth areas in technology

Minister Teo launched the TFIP, which is targeted at professionals who are keen to start a career in some of the new and emerging roles identified in the study.  The programme will complement existing professional conversion programmes in helping individuals acquire skills that are in demand.

Developed by IBF and WSG and in partnership with Infocomm Media Development Authority, MAS and industry stakeholders, TFIP will offer training and attachment opportunities in Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics and Full Stack Development. There are over 70 positions across seven participating financial institutions available for application. Details of the programme and the application process can be found in Annex A.

Mr Tan Choon Shian, Chief Executive of WSG, said, “The TFIP opens up new avenues for mid-career Singaporeans keen to pick up new skills and convert to new careers in tech job roles in the financial services sector.  By providing meaningful on-the-job training with leading banks in Singapore, this will help mid-career individuals build up their essential skillsets in the respective technology areas.”

“Tech skills is a hot currency in today’s digital economy, with the demand for infocomm professionals in Singapore expected to grow across all sectors over the next few years. We are committed to support our local workers in tech skills training, so that they can continue to seize new and better opportunities that arise from technological shifts in the financial sector,” said Mr Howie Lau, Chief Industry Development Officer, Industry Development Group, IMDA. 

The release of the study report and the launch of TFIP are intended to bolster the financial sector’s ongoing workforce transformation efforts. As at the end of 2018, financial institutions had identified and committed to re-skill and re-deploy close to 4,000 of their employees. With the study identifying job roles that are augmented and transformed, financial institutions will be better equipped to proactively re-design job roles and equip employees with relevant skills for the future of finance. Finance professionals can also use the study to identify and acquire new skills to harness data analytics that can help them enhance career opportunities and professional growth.