FinTech Ecosystem and Banking Jobs in Singapore for Expats & International Students
With the latest tightening of the rules on hiring foreigners in Singapore, several folks are confused about studies and jobs in Singapore. Singapore is an attractive destination for Indians to work, especially for the folks in software, finance & banking as one can earn in dollars while staying close to home. Singapore boasts of one of the most successful economies in the world. In this post, we will look into the finance and banking job market in Singapore. Additionally, we will also try to decipher how to get banking jobs in Singapore from India.
FinTech Ecosystem and Banking Jobs in Singapore
Despite being a small island country, Singapore has got one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Singapore is highly developed country in Southeast Asian countries with the highest per capita GDP in the world. Singapore also received a highest ranking status in the sectors like education, technology, healthcare, and quality of life.
Banking and Financial Services Industry in Singapore
Singapore is considered to be the international financial center Singapore has many financial institutions which are competitive and cost-effective. Singapore offers excellent infrastructure and highly skilled cosmopolitan environment for the finance sector. There are about 200 commercial banks, 47 merchant banks and 3 financial companies in the financial sector, with the total assets of commercial banks standing at US$2 trillion. 6 banks have been awarded Qualifying Full Bank Licenses.
The economic growth in Singapore is mainly because of its location. The port area had bought up huge developments in the island with an increase in the trade aspects. Banking and finance sector makes up the largest and most significant role in Singapore’s economic growth. Banking and finance grossed up 22% of total Singapore’s GDP. The government policies allowed the banks and financial institutions to improve the standards and maintain the transparency in the sector.
Apart from the bank and finance, the foreign investments into the city had led to the global representation and the reputation towards the banking system. Stability in the bank policies had led to increase in the growth of the economy.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) had regulated the rules and regulations of Singapore and liberalized the financial sector in Singapore. MAS’s had successfully accomplished the four goals to develop Singapore. They ensure and made Singapore
- To be a regional leader in wealth management
- To be a Global processing center
- To become a premier risk management center for the Asia – Pacific region
- To maintain a clear business environment for financial institutions
The FinTech Ecosystem in Singapore
The fintech ecosystem in Singapore has grown significantly in 2017. There are more than 400 fintech ventures based in the city-state and over 30 fintech innovation labs or research centers set up by multinational corporations. The MAS has been investing heavily in AI, Data Science, Cyber Security, and Blockchain technology.
The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has launched a new Fintech Fast Track initiative to provide an expedited patent application-to-grant process for Fintech inventions. Under this initiative, Fintech patents will be granted in as quickly as six months, compared to at least two years for normal applications.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and MAS, together with SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), six local universities, and five financial associations launched the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) Fintech Collective to beef up Singapore’s Infocomm and fintech talent pool. MAS also partnered with MIT Media Lab this year that aims to help strengthen Singapore’s talent pool in the fintech industry.
Talent Shortage in the Banking & FinTech Sector in Singapore
The financial services industry is a maturing market and has built up its overall talent base over the past decade. But, the ‘war for talent’ is affecting the banking sector. The challenge in the industry is not the lack of people but the lack of people with the right skills and value propositions to match a company’s values.
The Singapore Government has been tightening the hiring of the foreign nationals in order to promote the employment of local nationals. Singapore saw the largest drop in the number of foreigners with work visas in 2017. The decline of 32,000 was 10 times more than 2016’s decline of 2,500. After years of surging foreign manpower growth, the government moved to tighten the tap in 2009 as part of efforts to reduce reliance on low-skilled labor.
But in the run-up to Budget 2018, a segment of the business community is renewing calls to loosen manpower curbs in some fast-growing sectors, particularly technology and financial services (FinTech, to be precise). The calls for more flexible manpower policies are re-emerging – specifically with the aim of bringing in highly-skilled talent to help companies go digital.
KPMG’s recommendations for Budget 2018 include a suggestion to allow firms to hire more foreigners, especially in fast-growing sectors such as cybersecurity and data analytics.
New Hiring Rules for Foreign Nationals in Singapore for 2018
Starting from 1 July 2018, companies seeking to hire foreign employees on Employment Passes for positions where the fixed monthly salary is below S$15,000 must advertise the positions at the National Jobs Bank portal for at least 14 days. This applies to all companies with 10 or more full-time employees.
This is an increase from a minimum salary of S$12,000 and minimum employee size of 25 and ultimately increases the number of companies that are subject to this requirement. The jobs portal, launched in July 2014, is exclusively for Singaporean citizens and permanent residents.
In addition, the minimum qualifying salary for an S-Pass has increased to S$2,300 from 1 January 2019 and $2,400 from 1 January 2020. The S-Pass is meant for mid-skilled employees such as technicians and supervisors.
How to Get a Job in Singapore from India?
Getting a job in Singapore is not a big deal. But the question arises to get a job before going to Singapore. It has some security reason. Having a job before leaving the country builds up the confidence in any person. One can easily find a job with better pay scale in Singapore. Relocating from one place to another without a job might add up many questions, but there is an alternative. One can go to Singapore before leaving the country itself.
Getting a work permit in Singapore
In Singapore, a person will get his Visa only once he has the secured job with him. A Work Pass will be provided by the employer to the employee. To get the Work Pass, getting a secured job is must n Singapore. The common visa types are as follows:
- Employment Pass for professionals earning at least 3300 Singapore Dollar (SGD) per month, typically in senior positions with their company
- EntrePass for entrepreneurs looking to start their business in Singapore
- Personalized Employment Pass only given to high earners already holding an employment pass, but offering huge flexibility in employment terms and eligible industries
- S Pass the most common visa type for typical foreign workers, provided to mid-tier professionals earning at least 2200 SGD per month, and who have passed the requisite assessment
How to Search for Jobs in Singapore?
You can search for jobs in Singapore from India. But, employers prefer face to face interviews while recruiting a job. It a would be a little bit difficult to find a job in Singapore while staying in India unless you have a strong network in Singapore and a flexible employer.
Good network with the companies or the permanent residents can help you in getting a job easier in Singapore. A better network can complete the entire process of selection of the candidate through online itself.
Recruitment Agencies & Consultants
Various agencies work in India on behalf of the Singapore companies to recruit the candidates. These agencies opt the right candidates, conduct the initial interview rounds, but the final decision regarding the recruitment of the candidates will be taken by the company officials itself.
List of Top Recruitment Agencies for FinTech & Banking Jobs in Singapore
Online Job Portals
Getting enrolled in various online job portals can help the aspirant in getting a job in Singapore before leaving the country itself. Classified jobs and Executive appointments are listed in supplement paper on Singapore’s English newspaper. An Online version of that newspaper can be found in ST701 Portal. Any kind of job requirements are published in that newspaper is available on the online version too.
Top Online Portals for Applying for a Job in Singapore
To find an appropriate job in Singapore, candidates have to go through the guidelines released by the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore. These guidelines will provide you the entire details regarding labor, market, list of jobs, upcoming demand, industry demand, average wages and the relevant skills – qualifications required for the jobs in Singapore.
Requirements for Banking Jobs in Singapore
- Graduate with a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree.
- Expert in solving the mathematics
- Strong financial modeling knowledge
- Knowledge about the financial market audit, and risk management.
- Accounting and finance functions of banks
- Analytical skills with data interpretation knowledge.
- Expertise knowledge regarding funds and accounts.
- Strong communication skills to work well with clients.
- In-depth knowledge about the rules and regulatory aspects of Singapore.
- Dealing with client
Top 5 In-Demand Skills in Singapore within the FinTech & Banking Sector
- Software Development
- UX/UI Design
- Data Science & Analytics
- Cyber Security
- Digital Marketing
Jobs for International Students after Studying Abroad
Completing a degree from Singapore could be another effective way to find jobs in Singapore. Advanced skills and higher degrees from top international schools are highly preferred by the employers in Singapore. Of courses, guys who hold a Singaporean degree get preferences. Additionally, those who have degrees from US, UK & Europe also get a significant upper hand over the folks applying directly from India.
Singapore offers a progressive education system with state-of-the-art facilities. The proximity to India reduces the expenses incurred in this country as compared to major destinations like USA or Canada.
Apart from the top indigenous universities like National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Technology and Design etc., several top foreign institutes like INSEAD, Chicago Booth School of Business, Yale University, Duke University and ESSEC Business School have their international campuses in Singapore.
Top 15 Most Popular Masters in Finance courses for Getting Finance and Banking Jobs in Singapore
- MSc Applied Finance – Singapore Management University
- MSc Financial Engineering – National University of Singapore
- MSc Finance – London Business School
- Executive Master in Finance – INSEAD (Singapore Campus)
- MSc Finance – University College Dublin (Kaplan Singapore Campus)
- MSc Finance – London School of Economics
- MSc Finance – Imperial College London
- MSc Finance – ESSEC Business School (Singapore Campus)
- MSc Finance – Cass Business School
- MS Finance – MIT Sloan
- MS Finance – Olin Business School
- MS Finance – University of Hong Kong
- MSc Finance – Nanyang Business School
- MSc Finance – Grenoble School of Business (MDIS Singapore Campus)
- MSc Financial Economics – Oxford SAID
Top Companies/Recruiters and Average Salaries in Singapore
Top Financial & Banking Institutions in Singapore
- DBS Bank
- Capital Dynamics
- OCBC Bank
- United Overseas Bank
- Bank of Singapore
- CIC Singapore
- Maybank Singapore
- RHB Bank
- Temasek Holdings
- FinIQ Consulting
- Aberdeen Asset Management
- Hong Leong Finance
- JP Morgan Singapore
- Deutsche Bank
- De Lage Landen
- Goldman Sachs
- BNP Paribas
- Credit Suisse
- Standard Chartered Bank
Other Companies recruiting Banking & Finance Professionals in Singapore
- Kelly Services
- Michael Page
- Robert Walters
- Recruit Express
- Red Hat, Inc
- EON Reality
Average Salary per Year
- Business Analyst, Finance/Banking Salary – S$35,204
- Financial Services – S$75,563
- Banking – S$73,048
- Account Executive – S$33,586
- Software Engineer – S$49,578
- Marketing Executive – S$34,758
- Senior Software Engineer – S$66,432
- Business Development Manager – S$68,885
- Administrative Assistant – S$24,017
- Operations Manager – S$69,494
- Data Scientist (Entry Level) – S$68,106
- Digital Marketing Manager – S$61,884
Acknowledgment: This article has been co-authored by Parinita Gupta, a banking professional & digital marketing expert.
Author: Tanmoy Ray
I am a Career Adviser & MS Admission Consultant. Additionally, I also manage online marketing at Stoodnt. I did my Masters from the UK (Aston University) and have worked at the University of Oxford (UK), Utrecht University (Netherlands), University of New South Wales (Australia) and MeetUniversity (India).
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