(Singapore, 9 April, 2020) The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced an S$125 million support package to sustain and strengthen capabilities in the financial services and FinTech sectors amid the current economic slump.

The support package will help to position financial institutions (FIs) and FinTech firms for stronger growth when the threat of COVID-19 recedes, and economic activity normalizes.

Ms Jacqueline Loh, Deputy Managing Director (Markets & Development), MAS, said, “We have significantly enhanced existing initiatives and introduced new schemes to help our FIs and FinTech firms not only navigate the current headwinds but at the same time build deeper competencies, skills, and networks, so that we can emerge stronger for the longer term. ”

Funded by the Financial Sector Development Fund, the package will serve to support workforce training and manpower costs, to strengthen digitalization and operational resilience, and to enhance FinTech firms’ access to digital platforms and tools.

The package has taken effect since yesterday.

Also, MAS says it will launch a new Training Allowance Grant (TAG) to encourage FIs and FinTech firms to make use of the downtime in business activity, to train and deepen the capabilities of their employees.

The TAG will also be available to support Singapore Citizens (SCs) and Permanent Residents (PRs) outside of the financial services and FinTech sectors.

Besides, it will supplement the Jobs Support Scheme announced in the Resilience and Solidarity Budgets, by providing training allowances for completing training in courses accredited by the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF).

MAS and IBF will increase course fee subsidies for SCs and PRs attending relevant IBF courses to 90% (from the current range of 50% to 70%), and extend the subsidies to include employees of FinTech firms.

The subsidies will be disbursed in advance to help alleviate any cash flow challenges that firms and individuals may face.  More than 400 IBF-accredited courses are available on e-learning channels, and plans are underway to expand such virtual offerings to meet training needs under the current climate of safe distancing.

MAS will double the salary support for FIs to hire SC fresh graduates or workers from other sectors and place them in the talent development program under the Finance Associate Management Scheme (FAMS). FAMS is a talent development tool to help groom Singaporeans for future specialist and management roles in the financial services industry through structured programs offered by FIs.

Mr. Patrick Tay, Assistant Secretary-General, NTUC, said, “NTUC, together with our financial services unions and SFA, support this move and will work hand-in-glove with our tripartite partners to help our workers navigate this trying period so that we can emerge from this crisis a more robust, resilient, reputable, and relevant global financial and FinTech hub.”