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Morning Coffee: Why foreigners aren’t stealing Singaporean banking jobs

Foreigners not shutting out locals in Singapore

This isn't happening to locals in Singapore

The number of foreign professionals entering the workforce in Singapore may still be increasing, but that isn’t shutting Singaporeans out of good jobs, says Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin. Writing in his blog, the outgoing minster refutes the common public assumption that rises in the number of foreign professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) in the city state are leading to more unemployed and lower-paid Singaporean PMETs.

The number of work visas granted in Singapore has been increasing over the past few years, although the speed of growth has slowed from 20% in 2011 to 4% in 2014. But the unemployment rate for professional Singaporeans has actually remained low over the same period – it was 2.9% in 2014. Singapore’s job market is not a “zero sum game”, writes Tan.

Although these figures aren’t specific to the financial sector, anecdotally we hear that banks are stepping up their efforts to hire local professionals. And sometimes they are exceeding the requirements of the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF), a law introduced last year which encourages companies to consider Singaporeans before applying for foreign work visas.

While the FCF only requires employers to advertise roles paying less than S$144k to local candidates on the new government-run Jobs Board, many banks are also voluntarily listing senior jobs paying over the threshold, a senior HR professional at a major foreign bank told us last week. “We’ve picked up some excellent senior local talent doing this recently,” he adds.

Meanwhile:

Goldman Sachs is actually a tech company, it employs more IT staff than Facebook or Twitter. (Business Insider)

The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will be lean, clean and green. (Reuters)

Should the AIIB’s headquarters be in Singapore? (Today)

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange to “substantially increase” quotas for Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect. (Reuters)

Shock as employees in Singapore say they are mainly motivated by…money. (Human Resources)

China tightens grip on its three “policy banks”. (Xinhua)

What analysts are saying about the Noble Group/Muddy Waters saga. (Straits Times)

DBS Bank seals insurance distribution deal with Manulife. (Straits Times)

The Philippines needs to beef up its own banks or let other Southeast Asian banks expand. (South China Morning Post)


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