Suggestions to grow financial industry

Advisory panel's recommendations include promoting innovation and tech adoption

An advisory panel of senior figures from the finance industry has made recommendations to further grow the sector here, including promoting innovation and the adoption of technology.

The 26-member panel, set up late last month, includes the chief executives of the three local banks, the Singapore Exchange and Great Eastern Singapore. It was formed to help the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) better engage and develop the financial industry here.

At the end of its first meeting on Tuesday, chaired by MAS managing director Ravi Menon, the panel noted that Singapore has made strong gains in asset and wealth management, reinsurance and specialty insurance and foreign exchange and derivatives, the MAS said in a statement yesterday.

However, it added that there was scope to do better in several areas.

For example, Singapore could attract more institutional investors, such as pension funds and family offices, which would help liven up capital markets. The Republic could also benefit from a more seamless capital-raising ecosystem that would serve companies across the spectrum, from start- ups to big multinationals.


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.


Singapore could build up its foreign exchange electronic trading capabilities and enhance liquidity in Asian bond markets too, it said.

The panel also discussed how Singapore could develop itself into a "smart" financial centre by adopting the latest technologies.

For example, it suggested that there should be "safe spaces" for financial institutions to experiment and roll out innovative products, and that there should be more timely and proactive sharing of cyber intelligence.

Panel members also discussed the importance of developing the right mindsets and skills within the financial sector workforce so that the industry can stay nimble.

"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 panel plans to meet biannually and the next meeting will be held in January. Meanwhile, the MAS will work with the panel to develop the ideas and come up with initiatives to take them forward.

"The initiative by the MAS to establish a Financial Centre Advisory Panel comes at an opportune time and will play an important part in ensuring increased dialogue and cooperation with the financial industry," said HSBC Singapore chief executive officer Guy Harvey-Samuel.

"This sharing of knowledge and expertise will no doubt open up new ideas and opportunities to help Singapore succeed globally by building on its strengths as an international trade hub, wealth management centre, and global financial services market."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2015, with the headline 'Suggestions to grow financial industry'. Print Edition | Subscribe