Citi Singapore to return wage support funding

Citi has also taken several other virus support measures to assist its clients, employees and the wider community.
Citi has also taken several other virus support measures to assist its clients, employees and the wider community.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Citi Singapore will return the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) funding - intended to provide firms with wage support amid the pandemic - to the Government.

Citi Asean head and Singapore chief executive Amol Gupte told staff in a memo: "We feel it is the right time to signal that companies like Citi are here for the long term, and that the well-being of the larger community matters to us.

"Considering the large workforce that we have, this was a big decision and we hope it will make a significant impact on our community."

Mr Gupte noted that giving back the JSS funding means that individuals, families and companies who have a "far greater need" for assistance can benefit.

The exact amount was not noted in the internal memo, but about 80 per cent of Citi's total headcount of 8,500 employees here are Singapore citizens or permanent residents, so the JSS funding would amount to tens of millions of dollars.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on May 11 that 32 companies had returned their JSS payouts and will turn down future payouts under the scheme, while others have pledged to donate the money to charity instead.

A further 29 companies which received last month's JSS payout have also decided to turn down future payments.

The JSS scheme involves the Government co-funding a percentage of gross monthly wages paid to each local employee - Singapore citizens and PRs - for nine months from last month in four tranches.

The co-funding support last month and this month was for 75 per cent for all sectors. The percentage then differs for different sectors, depending on their exposure to the downturn.

  • 8,500

  • Citi Singapore's headcount, of which about 80 per cent are Singapore citizens or permanent residents.

More than $20 billion has been committed under the JSS, with about 140,000 employers expected to receive $4 billion in the next payout.

THE BUSINESS TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2020, with the headline 'Citi Singapore to return wage support funding'. Print Edition | Subscribe