Singapore Industry Panel Discusses How To Grow Financial Centre

At its inaugural meeting last week the Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) Financial Centre Advisory Panel (FCAP) discussed strategies to grow Singapore’s financial centre, promote innovation and the use of technology, and build deep skills and capabilities.

Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, MAS, chaired the meeting, which was attended by 24 FCAP members from across Singapore’s banking, insurance, and asset management industries.

FCAP members noted that Singapore’s financial centre had made strong gains in asset and wealth management, reinsurance and specialty insurance, and foreign exchange (FX) and derivatives. However, there was scope to do better in several areas:

  • attract more institutional investors like pension funds and family offices to strengthen the buy-side ecosystem for our capital markets;
  • promote digital distribution, advanced analytics, and other innovations to drive growth in the insurance industry;
  • provide more seamless capital-raising across the spectrum from start-ups to global companies;
  • build up FX electronic trading capabilities and enhance liquidity in Asian bond markets.
Members also explored areas in innovation and technology that the industry could potentially focus on to give Singapore’s financial centre a distinctive value proposition:
  • an open banking platform via application programming interfaces (APIs) to unlock faster innovation in financial services;
  • “sandboxes” to create safe spaces to experiment and roll out innovative products and solutions within controlled boundaries;
  • application of blockchain technology and distributed databases to facilitate price discovery and smart contracts;
  •  more timely and proactive sharing of cyber intelligence among financial institutions to strengthen situational awareness and build cyber resilience.
Cultivating Skills For The Future:

FCAP members discussed the importance of developing the right mindsets as well as skillsets within the financial sector workforce so that the industry continued to be adaptable and nimble in the face of new demands and technologies. They discussed possible approaches to deepening skills, fostering continuous learning, and building a strong core of Singaporeans at every level of the financial sector workforce.

“It was an engaging meeting, with lots of good ideas and useful insights.  This is a strength – that our industry leaders can come together and discuss candidly and constructively what we can do together to grow the financial centre”, said Mr Menon.

The FCAP plans to meet biannually. The next meeting will be held in January 2016. In the interim, MAS will work with FCAP members to further develop the ideas discussed and co-create initiatives to take them forward.


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