Singaporeans should welcome the Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) assessment that there will be more than 9,400 new jobs on offer in the financial sector this year, with about a third of them in technology. This estimate is backed by the financial sector's strong performance throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The sector grew by an annual average of 7.2 per cent during 2020-21, four times faster than the overall economy. The last two years also saw 5,800 net jobs created in financial services. Today, although the war in Ukraine casts a shadow on the global economy, the MAS notes that the Singapore economy remains on track to grow by 3 per cent to 5 per cent in 2022, barring a further worsening in the external environment. The ongoing recovery of the global economy from Covid-19 and associated restrictions will provide support to economic activity. The financial sector should grow at least as fast as the overall economy.
In this context, financial institutions in Singapore are making significant investments in technology. According to the MAS, major banks and insurers are accelerating their digital transformation and ramping up hiring in application development, data science and artificial intelligence. Singapore is staying in step with global developments. It is home to more than 50 global and regional innovation labs and more than 1,400 fintech firms. Last year, it witnessed record-high fintech investments of US$3.9 billion (S$5.4 billion), up from US$2.5 billion in 2020. All in all, the financial sector is poised to lead Singapore's continuing recovery from the lingering effects of Covid-19 as it becomes an endemic disease.