Singapore sees Brexit as chance to recruit London's fintech talent: MAS

Twenty-three financial institutions opened their fintech labs and innovation centres to visitors as Singapore kicked off the FinTech Festival at Fusionopolis on Nov 14, 2016.
Twenty-three financial institutions opened their fintech labs and innovation centres to visitors as Singapore kicked off the FinTech Festival at Fusionopolis on Nov 14, 2016.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - Britain leaving the European Union is opening up an opportunity for Singapore to recruit talent for its ambitious plans to become a leading financial technology hub, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore's chief fintech officer.

"First thing after Brexit happened, we talked about talent - talent coming out of the UK," said MAS' Sopnendu Mohanty at a panel discussion at Singapore's first fintech festival.

"I agree they have a huge pool of talent and it's good to have something like that so we can take some talent out.

Britain's economic secretary to the treasury Simon Kirby, one of the officials in attendance, told the audience that London will remain a leading financial centre, though he acknowledged that Singapore might be able to lure some of the talent.

"Brexit is an opportunity not a risk," Kirby said.

Mohanty said Singapore was making its own efforts to develop talent, building a research centre dedicated to fintech and retraining people from the financial industry.

People needed to "wake up" to the need to learn new skills, Mohanty said, as "financial services in 5-10 years time will be called fintech."

Some 11,000 participants - including software giant Microsoft and global banks such as Citibank and Standard Chartered - from over 50 countries gathered for the fintech event.