Jobs portal to ease hiring concerns in banking

February 18, 201610:52 am321 views

Amid concerns of volatility and restructuring in the financial sector, the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) has initiated a jobs portal that allows its members to refer their staff for suitable positions in other banks.

At a media briefing on Wednesday (Feb 17), ABS director Ong-Ang Ai Boon said the one-stop portal offers the banks’ human resource departments “a one- glance on who else in the industry has the capacity, or is in demand for what kind of skills, and what kind of jobs”.

Known as the ABS JobsBoard, the portal is meant for HR practitioners in banks to identify suitable positions for staff who are being displaced due to bank restructuring efforts.

Unlike the national Jobs Bank, which has a salary cap for jobs posted on its portal, this rule also does not apply for the ABS portal, said Mrs Ong-Ang.

The ABS portal, which went live about three days ago, currently has 96 job postings related to consumer banking from four banks.

The ABS initiative comes on the heels of media reports about foreign banks laying off staff.

The latest was British banking giant Barclays, which announced recently that it was cutting more than 1,000 jobs globally, including employees from its Singapore office.

While local banks have said that they are still hiring, the trend is moving towards hiring staff in the areas of compliance and information technology, due to increasing regulations internationally, and the growth of e-banking, said NTUC assistant secretary-general Patrick Tay on the sidelines of an ABS Chinese New Year lunch on Wednesday.

As for Singapore-based foreign banks, he said their overseas headquarters might make the decision to retrench workers as they are subjected to factors, such as volatile currency fluctuations and oil prices.

“This is exacerbated by the fact that in Singapore, comparatively, manpower cost is higher than in the region,” he added.

Noting that retrenchment among white-collar workers has been inching up, Mr Tay said there is a need for them — including financial sector professionals — to pick up new skills.

Hence, helping to identify training courses for workers in the financial sector and new cross-functional competencies, are among the tasks of a financial sector tripartite committee, co-chaired by Mr Tay, which was officially launched on Wednesday.

It was first announced by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratam in April last year, as part of the SkillsFuture initiative.

The committee, whose other chairperson is Monetary Authority of Singapore deputy managing director  Jacqueline Loh, will also be setting up a one-stop career centre next month at the U-PME Centre along One Marina Boulevard.

The centre will guide individuals on career and training opportunities, among other things.

The committee will first work with the banking sector, and extend its coverage to the insurance and asset management sectors in phases.

Chief executive of United Overseas Bank Wee Ee Cheong said the committee will help financial professionals adapt to the changing landscape through acquiring new skills and opportunities.

“How the banking industry seizes the opportunities presented by the digital economy while maintaining a personal touch will define the industry’s success for years to come” he added.

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