When the Singapore government launched the Fair Consideration Framework – legislation which encourages employers to hire more locals – nearly a year ago, it was unclear whether banks’ initial vocal support of the new rules would actually lead them to hire more Singaporeans.
Now there are signs of progress, aided by the Monetary Authority of Singapore “encouraging” banks to strengthen their local talent base and by a new MAS SkillsFuture programme, which helps polytechnic graduates get financial sector jobs.
At Credit Suisse, for example, the proportion of Singaporean staff has grown steadily over the past three years, Lito Camacho, the bank’s vice-chairman for Asia Pacific, told the Business Times. More than 70% of its employees in the city state are Singaporeans and permanent residents. J.P. Morgan, which plans to hire 600 more employees in Singapore in the next 12 to 18 months, now prefers to hire locally wherever possible, added Phillip de Josselin, the firm’s chief administrative officer for Asean.
Banks and the government are understandably focused on building up their local ranks at a junior and mid-level (SkillsFuture also includes training schemes for existing employees) right now. But it will take at least five years for their current efforts to filter up into more senior banking jobs, where banks are generally more reliant on importing foreign talent.
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