The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) yesterday released the industry transformation map (ITM) for financial services, which outlined growth strategies by business lines, programmes for upgrading skills, and an agenda for continuous innovation and technology adoption.
Speaking at the launch of the ITM, Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and MAS Board Member, described MAS’s vision for Singapore to be a leading global financial centre in Asia – one that connects global markets, supports Asia’s development, and serves Singapore’s economy.
The ITM aims to achieve growth in financial sector real value-added of 4.3% and productivity of 2.4% annually, faster than the overall economy. The ITM also aims to create 3,000 net jobs in financial services, and an additional 1,000 net jobs in the FinTech sector annually.
Singapore aims to be a:
- Leading international wealth management hub. MAS is working with the industry to develop Singapore into a centre of excellence for wealth management technology and innovation, and deepen its talent pool to provide comprehensive, high-quality wealth advisory solutions.
- Asian hub for fund management and domiciliation. MAS is leveraging on its external fund management programme to anchor deeper asset management capabilities in Singapore. MAS is also working with the industry to position Singapore as a regional fund domiciliation hub through the Singapore Variable Capital Company framework.
- Global forex price discovery and liquidity centre in the Asian time zone. Singapore is currently the third largest FX centre globally. With Asia expected to attract a larger share of global investment flows, MAS will encourage key FX players to anchor their matching and pricing engines in Singapore, to enable market participants to benefit from better liquidity and greater efficiency in executing FX transactions.
To support Asia’s development, MAS is working with the industry to develop Singapore in the following areas:
- Global capital for Asian insurance and risk transfer. MAS is working with the industry to transform the insurance marketplace through centralised blockchain platforms which will allow for more efficient risk placements, and create specialist insurance solutions to address emerging risks in the region.
- Asian centre for capital raising and enterprise financing. Singapore will build private market funding platforms to enable Asian growth companies to gain better access to a wider network of investors.
- Full service Asian infrastructure financing hub. The Singapore financial ecosystem is working with multilateral development banks to fundamentally improve the bankability of Asian infrastructure projects. The differentiating strategy is to crowd in private capital through innovative market mechanisms and infrastructure investment benchmarks.
- Leading centre for Asian fixed income. MAS aims to meet the growing needs of Asian corporates for offshore debt financing, with the launch of the Asian Bond and Green Bond Grant Schemes.
Technology and innovation
A key focus of the ITM will be to facilitate pervasive innovation in the financial sector and encourage the adoption of technology for increasing efficiency and creating opportunity. In this, MAS will:
- step up efforts to encourage financial institutions to enhance connectivity and FinTech innovation through Application Programming Interfaces;
- collaborate with financial institutions to create common utilities, such as for electronic payments, digital ID, and electronic know-your-client checks;
- facilitate and invest in R&D to develop new solutions, including the use of distributed ledger technology for inter-bank payments and trade finance;
- expand the web of cross-border cooperation agreements with other key FinTech centres, helping to grow Singapore as a base for foreign FinTech start-ups; and
- harness technology to simplify financial institutions’ regulatory compliance.
MAS says that it will continue to enhance its regulatory approach, to support enterprise and innovation, while maintaining financial soundness. Key priorities include ensuring that regulations are supportive of innovative business models and strengthening the cyber resilience of financial institutions.