Boom in fintech jobs as banks digitise

The Marina Bay Financial Centre in Singapore.
The Marina Bay Financial Centre in Singapore.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Never mind numeracy skills. To work in a bank these days, a job-seeker is better off being a designer, digital data analyst or tech developer.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in its annual report last week noted a net increase of 2,800 financial sector jobs last year, despite the slowdown in financial sector growth to 0.7 per cent from 5.7 per cent in 2015.

MAS managing director Ravi Menon noted that with digitisation and automation gathering pace, many global financial institutions have been downsizing and restructuring their operations, mainly in back office functions such as operations, IT and technical support.

However, he added, some have continued to hire, especially in growth areas such as technology, compliance, risk management, insurance, and asset and wealth management. Indeed, banks and human resource experts said the rise of technology has led to an increase in demand for many new positions in the banking sector which did not previously exist, such as UX/UI designers, digital data analysts and app developers.

Management consultancy Kelly Services estimates that IT on the whole will require between 15,000 and 30,000 more workers by 2020.

OCBC Bank is looking to recruit more talent with expertise in cyber security, digital and Web development and data analytics.

STAYING EMPLOYABLE

In this climate of disruption to traditional business models, it remains crucial Singapore's workforce continues to re-skill, upskill and adopt an agile mindset to remain relevant in the future economy.

KELLY SERVICES SINGAPORE MANAGING DIRECTOR FOO SEE YANG

Similarly, DBS Bank has been looking for data scientists, UX/UI designers, app developers and people familiar with cloud computing, agile development, development operations and information security to support its digital initiatives.

United Overseas Bank, meanwhile, has been growing its team of experts in areas such as enterprise architecture, programming, data analysis and cyber security.

A DBS spokesman said in the financial sector, hiring for specialised and niche positions continues to be a challenge because of the comparatively smaller talent pool and it usually takes a slightly longer time to hire people for these positions.

Another challenge, Kelly Services Singapore managing director Foo See Yang said, is talent retention, which is not limited to the finance sector.

"In this climate of disruption to traditional business models, it remains crucial Singapore's workforce continues to re-skill, upskill and adopt an agile mindset in order to remain relevant in the future economy," Mr Foo said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2017, with the headline 'Boom in fintech jobs as banks digitise'. Print Edition | Subscribe