Locals make up majority being trained, hired for key jobs in Singapore's financial institutions

Ninety two per cent of the DBS Group's Singapore workforce are Singaporeans and PRs. The figure has been above 90 per cent in recent years.
Ninety two per cent of the DBS Group's Singapore workforce are Singaporeans and PRs. The figure has been above 90 per cent in recent years.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore's three local banks are achieving top marks when it comes to training locals - that is, both citizens and permanent residents (PRs) - to fill management and other key jobs.

The Government has stated that growing the pool of local professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) is important for the industry's future.

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say on Sept 29 noted the finance sector is a major contributor to economic growth and job creation.

He said more than eight in 10 of the PMET positions in the industry are filled by locals - that is, by Singaporeans and PRs.

A check with banks here by The Straits Times reflected strong local hiring.

For instance, 92 per cent of the DBS Group's Singapore workforce are Singaporeans and PRs, a spokesman said. The figure has been above 90 per cent in recent years.

For the past eight to nine years, local executives have made up about 80 per cent as against 20 per cent of foreign executives at OCBC Bank.

At the third local lender, United Overseas Bank (UOB) on a group level, 95.9 per cent of employees are local, and PMET employees account for 70.9 per cent.

When it comes to training, banks, including foreign lenders with operations in Singapore, have made several moves to develop local talent.

For instance, Citi Singapore has implemented a so-called Lead programme, which stands for leadership enhancement and accelerated development.

Citi said this "aims to provide our high-performing (mid-level) employees with invaluable experiences and learning opportunities".

This year, it further enhanced the programme to include potential job exchanges across franchises, functions and competencies identified under the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore's future-enabled skills.

Standard Chartered Bank released what it calls a Skillsfuture@sc initiative last year  for staff to upgrade their skills and prepare local talent for the future, said StanChart Singapore human resources head Charlotte Thng.

Financial institutions here have put in much effort in recent years to develop local talent with new skills for the sector, which has seen several technology and regulatory changes over the years.