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5 minute read

Landing a Job in the Banking and Finance Sector: What Does It Take?

Singapore’s banking and financial services sector has decent prospects if you’re looking for career opportunities. Learn more here.

singapore's business district representing its finance sector

Questions about the banking and finance industry answered:

  • What is Singapore’s Banking and Finance industry?
  • Is the Banking and Finance industry stable if you’re considering a mid-career switch?
  • What kind of jobs are there in the Banking and Finance industry?
  • What’s the salary like?
  • What are the growth areas in the Banking and Finance industry?
  • What courses or skills are needed to join the Banking and Finance industry?

About Singapore’s banking and financial services sector

As of 2023, the banking and financial services sector accounted for 14% of Singapore’s GDP, and the sector employs around 190,000 people – or around 5% of our total labour force, and contributed 12% to our gross national product (GDP).

Locals comprise over 80% of the financial sector workforce, complemented by a diverse pool of strong talent drawn from around the world.

The scope and complexity of Singapore’s financial sector have expanded considerably over the decades.

From humble beginnings as an Asian Dollar Market in the 1960s, the sector has evolved to become a global financial marketplace that offers a broad and integrated suite of financial services.

Thankfully for Singaporean jobseekers and mid-careerists, the sector looks likely to do well in the medium- and long-term, with international banks looking to hire more talent in Singapore. As with all industries, there are pros and cons to joining banking and financial services.

In times of recession and inflation, big bank shareholders want their chief executives to manage costs and preserve capital, which means hiring slowdowns and retrenchments.

On the other hand, once the economic outlook becomes more settled and marketplace confidence returns, the industry tends to bounce back strongly, along with its hiring, salary, and rewards structure.

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In a nutshell, Singapore’s core industries in the banking and financial services sector are:


Over 200 banks have a presence in Singapore, and a growing number have chosen to base their operational headquarters here to service their regional group activities in retail, corporate, investment, and private banking.

Capital Markets

Singapore’s deep and liquid capital markets are a key source of funding for the region’s growth and development. Singapore’s Debt and Equity Capital Markets, Foreign Exchange, and REITS and Business Trust Frameworks play crucial roles in facilitating growth in the region.

Wealth and Asset Management

Singapore is recognised as a premier wealth and asset management hub offering investors direct accessto a plethora of regional and global investment opportunities. Singapore’s robust and transparent legal framework, coupled with its economic and political stability, provide the ideal location for wealth and asset managers to tap asset gathering opportunities in the region.


As the leading insurance marketplace in Asia, Singapore plays host to a vibrant ecosystem of life and general insurers, reinsurers, Lloyd’s syndicates, captives, brokers and ancillary service providers. The long-term growth prospects for the insurance industry remain strong, underpinned by rapid urbanisation, infrastructure development and trade growth in Asia.

Size of the job market

The Singapore government has been reacting quickly to marketplace dynamics, with a recently updated industry transformation map (ITM) aiming to create 3,000 to 4,000 new jobs annually and achieve an average growth of 4-5% annually from now till 2025.

As it stands, the financial sector has created an average of 4,500 jobs each year during the last 10 years and right through the COVID-19 crisis, despite rapid digitalisation and automation.

Ravi Menon, Managing Director for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said in October 2023 that the JTM has helped Singapore not only identify job roles that are impacted by technology but to spell out how they are impacted.

He added: “Several years ago, I described to a fellow central bank governor in Europe how MAS and the financial industry worked together to upskill and prepare our workforce for the future.

“He was visibly moved. He wished the environment in his own country had that ethos of trust and partnership that we have nurtured here in Singapore.”

Why is this sector important to Singapore’s economy?

According to market reports, Singapore’s banking and finance sector’s total asset size is approximately US$2 trillion and serves an important role in financing the growth of trade and infrastructure.

Growth areas and outlook for the banking and financial services sector

The industry has been making a big push towards digitalisation this decade, with many initiatives to help those looking to make mid-career moves into the industry available, particularly for roles to meet key technology areas in the sector.

In fact, the technology workforce in Singapore’s financial sector has grown by more than 30% in the past 2 years, to reach around 34,000 as of end 2022.

Some technology areas include:

  • Agile IT Project Management
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Business Analysis
  • Cloud Computing
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Analytics
  • Software Engineering
  • Technology, Information and Cybersecurity Risk

In addition, the emerging economies in Asia are also looking to make green transitions to net-zero carbon emissions and Singapore will be prioritising sustainability in the next phase of developing its financial sector.

As Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat said in October 2023, “The green transition will not be straightforward – there are new opportunities as well as new risks.”

“New technologies and solutions are evolving rapidly, but this should not hold us back from investing in viable solutions early before we reach a tipping point.”

As such, financial institutions will need to integrate sustainability considerations across operations. This will create new highly specialised roles, such as sustainability risk analysts and carbon credit traders.

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In April 2024, MAS and the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF), supported by Workforce Singapore (WSG), launched a Sustainable Finance Jobs Transformation Map (JTM).

The JTM projects that the sustainable finance market in ASEAN will amount to S$4 to 5 trillion over the next decade. It lays out the impact of sustainability trends on jobs in Singapore’s financial services sector and the emerging skills required to serve sustainable financing demand in the region.

The JTM, conducted by KPMG in Singapore, found that more than 50,000 workers in the sector will see new sustainable finance-related tasks added to their roles to a moderate or high degree. These tasks cover career tracks such as risk, compliance and legal, product solutioning and management, sales, after-sales, distribution, and relationship management.

It also found 20 unique job roles are high-priority roles for upskilling, including:

  • Relationship managers in corporate banking, to be better able to identify and explain sectoral decarbonised pathways and sustainable finance instruments
  • Portfolio managers, will need skills in sustainable investment management, and the skill to build investment portfolios based on clients’ sustainability strategies and preferences

Another key potential growth pillar for Singapore’s banking and financial service sector will be philanthropy and impact investing, given there has been significant growth in such investors from just 400 receiving MAS tax incentives in 2020 to more than 1,100 as of 2022.

Since 2020, MAS and IBF have together launched 3 new skills maps for Family Office advisors to deepen specialist skillsets to better serve Singapore’s growing Family Office ecosystem.

These include skills in wealth planning administration, philanthropy advisory and corporate governance.

These skills maps have also expanded career pathways and developmental opportunities for wealth management professionals.

Mid-career switch: Why is the banking and financial service sector a good choice?

For those worried about gaining the right skills to join the banking and finance sector, MAS has recently announced that it will set aside SGD$35 million for a Financial Sector Development Fund to support reskilling and upskilling in the banking and financial services sector and grow specialists in sustainable finance over the next three years.

In addition, more than 65 new executive courses and a new Master’s in sustainable finance will be launched in 2024 by local training providers and institutes of higher learning. These courses will help those looking to join the industry master their skills and support skills-based hiring and promotions by employers.

They also build on existing support for finance and non-finance workers in reskilling for roles in the industry through WSG’s Career Conversion Programmes (CCPs) for Financial Services.

Types of jobs in the banking and financial services sector

It’s not just tech roles available in the industry, of course. Associate Professor Angie Low, from NTU, Nanyang Business School’s Division of Banking and Finance also shared with Workipedia by MyCareersFuture how the sector will need workers with business intuition and an understanding of how technology works and how programming languages work in tandem.

“Such workers can act as the bridge between end consumers and the tech folks”, she shared. “This need in the financial services industry has been recognised for some time, and the business schools in Singapore, such as Nanyang Business School, have been equipping students with relevant tech skills.”

Such roles include:

  • Bank Tellers
  • Accountants
  • Financial Analysts
  • Relationship Managers
  • Financial Controllers
  • Mortgage Consultants
  • Compliance Officers
  • Asset Managers

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What’s the salary like in the banking and financial services sector?

Jobs in the banking and financial services sector cover a broad spectrum of roles, and salaries do vary depending on the specific job function, level of experience, and qualifications.

Here are some examples listed on the MyCareersFuture portal:

Role Salary Range (Monthly)
Financial Services Consultant $3,000 to $5,000
Internal Auditor $10,000 to 13,000
Executive Assistant $5,000 to $6,000
IT Risk Lead $9,000 to $11,000
Legal Counsel $7,000 to $10,000
Hedge Funds Operations Associate $3,000 to $5,000
Bank Teller $2,700 to $4,500
Banking Officer $2,200 to $3,500
Bank Call Centre $3,300 to $3,800
Relationship Manager, Private Banking $5,000 to $9,000


What courses or skills are needed to join the banking and financial services sector?

The professional services industry is vast with opportunities at every level. If you lack the necessary skills or experience, sign up for relevant Skillsfuture courses to prepare you for the job role that you’re interested in.

Jobseekers or mid-career switchers who are keen on joining the professional services sector can get support and On-the-Job Training by signing up for the following Career Conversion Programmes for the Banking and Finance sector by Workforce Singapore:

Other courses to consider include:

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In terms of the soft skills to build a career in the banking or financial services sector, here are some of the desired attributes employers are looking for, according to the IBF Standards and the Skills Framework for Financial Services by SkillsFuture:

Agility and Adaptability

Ability to adopt new ways of working to keep up with rapid change in industry, regulations, and market demands.


Work with people from various backgrounds and draw from different disciplines to create holistic and integrated solutions.


Consciously identifies implicit needs of the customer to build customer solutions and experiences focused on quality service delivery and meeting customer expectations.

Market and Commercial Acumen

Aptitude and literacy in understanding market and business goals and how to achieve them, derived through personal experience or knowledge.

As the sector continues to transform, those seeking to join can set themselves apart by acquiring these technical skills:


Understand, develop and apply cybersecurity policies and procedures to ensure protection against cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities, and to respond to cybersecurity breaches.

Data Collection and Analysis

Extract, analyse and make sense of information to form a holistic perspective and generate insights.

Digital Literacy

Use IT tools, equipment and software to create, evaluate and share information digitally.

Risk Management

Identify, evaluate and manage risks by developing and implementing risk management strategies, frameworks, policies, procedures and practices.

User Experience

Design Conceptualise, project and implement strategies to make enhancement of the user’s interaction and engagement with the products and/or services.

Getting excited about joining the industry? Read on for more insights and information on how you can join Singapore’s banking and financial services industry, and what to look forward to below.

Singapore’s Financial Services Industry is Going to Be Hiring. Here are Some Emerging Jobs

Salary Guide Singapore 2023: Banking Industry

Banking and Financial Services: Hiring & Salary Outlook 2023

More Jobs in Banking Sector: Standard Chartered Shares Why

Why Become a Relationship Manager?

Pursuing a Career in FinTech? Consider These 5 Roles

What it Takes to Join the Fintech Industry in Singapore

Starting a Career in the Blockchain Industry: What Is It and Where to Start

Find more jobs like these at
MyCareersFuture Job Portal