Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam urged professionals in the republic's financial industry to continue upgrading their capabilities to meet the new demands brought about by technology.
Speaking at the Singapore Bank Employees' Union's (SBEU) 60th anniversary dinner on 29th August 2014, he said that the increasing use of mobile devices and online platforms has changed the face of banking services. He added that the greater availability of information has also led to more sophisticated customers and higher compliance requirements.
"This means that rank-and-file workers now need to handle new and complex tasks — whether in serving a customer or meeting compliance and risk management requirements," he explained. "The need for greater skill and expertise will apply to professionals, managers and executives too."
To ensure that their staff is equipped with the right skills for tomorrow, employers should invest in talent development. "Employers need to proactively develop people, integrate skills development into their business strategies, and develop structured pathways for workers to progress in their careers," asserted Shanmugaratnam.
As Singapore is soon set to face an ageing population, employers also need to ensure that older workers can be meaningfully employed if they wish to be, he added. According to him, nine banks in Singapore now offer re-employment to workers aged 62 to 65 thanks to SBEU's efforts. The nine banks are Standard Chartered, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), United Overseas Bank (UOB), HSBC, RHB, Maybank, Bank of America, Bangkok bank and Credit Agricole.
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