Singapore’s financial sector set for green transformation with new S$35m fund

The MAS has joined forces with the IBF and WSG to introduce an initiative aimed at revolutionising the financial sector’s sustainability approach.

According to FinTech Singapore, the launch of the Sustainable Finance Jobs Transformation Map (JTM) marks a significant milestone in Singapore’s commitment to sustainable finance, highlighting the evolving needs within the financial services sector driven by global sustainability trends.

Under this initiative, MAS has pinpointed 20 high-priority job roles crucial for upskilling, to align with the global shift towards sustainable practices. Notably, relationship managers in corporate banking will be expected to grasp the intricacies of sectoral decarbonization pathways and sustainable finance instruments. This knowledge is essential to effectively service clients seeking to integrate sustainability into their business strategies. Portfolio managers are also seeing a shift in their role expectations, now requiring enhanced skills in sustainable investment management to construct portfolios that reflect the sustainability strategies and preferences of investors.

New roles are emerging too, particularly in Sustainability Risk and Sustainability Strategy. These roles will focus on the integration of sustainability into business frameworks and the management of associated risks, necessitating a deep understanding of sustainable finance strategies at the enterprise level.

The urgency of these developments is underscored by a recent KPMG study, which forecasts that the ASEAN sustainable finance market could expand to between S$4bn and S$5bn over the next decade. This burgeoning market will provide ample opportunities for over 50,000 financial professionals in Singapore, particularly in roles related to risk management, compliance, and client relationships, to integrate sustainable finance tasks into their day-to-day operations.

To facilitate this transition, MAS has earmarked S$35m from the Financial Sector Development Fund to develop and enhance the sustainable finance skills of professionals. This funding will support a slew of new educational initiatives, including sustainable finance-focused undergraduate programmes at Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore, and over 65 new executive courses set to launch this year.

Moreover, the introduction of the IBF Skills Badge is set to play a pivotal role in recognising professionals’ expertise in sustainable finance, which will aid in skill-based hiring and career advancements. MAS Managing Director Chia Der Jiun emphasised the strategic importance of this initiative, stating, “ASEAN’s sizeable sustainable financing needs over the next decade present significant opportunities for Singapore’s financial centre to support the region’s transition to net zero.”

He further encouraged professionals to “tap on the available support and deepen their sustainable finance capabilities to capture these opportunities.”

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