​Private banking is a people-driven business built upon relationships. At Bank of Singapore, the dedicated private banking subsidiary of OCBC Bank, we believe that investing in the learning and development of our employees will allow us to remain at the forefront of a competitive, dynamic industry and achieve better outcomes for our customers. This is critical to Bank of Singapore’s role in growing Singapore’s reputation as an internationally renowned financial hub.

“Bank of Singapore has invested significant resources into future-proofing our workforce through coming up with development roadmaps and training programmes across all categories of roles and functions. We want to equip employees with relevant skills and a growth mindset to be able to thrive in today’s fast paced environment that is being disrupted by technology amid shifting industry trends and client needs,” said Mr Jeffrey Chiam, Global Head of Human Resources, Bank of Singapore.

​Putting their learning to work

Bank of Singapore employees have a good track record of quickly applying the knowledge that they had gained from their training to solve pain points they encounter in their daily work.

One example is Qiu Yan, an Operations Manager in Account Information Management. Making use of her learnings, she managed to move the in-house process of client updates and communications between Front Office and compliance online, removing the need for printed hard-copy submissions. With paper submissions amounting to more than 80,000 printouts in a month, this not only helped reduce Bank of Singapore’s carbon footprint, it also achieved significant time savings, improved efficiency, and led to a better client experience. 

​Working closely with IBF to upskilling and transform the workforce

As Asia’s Global Private Bank, Bank of Singapore works closely with industry partners such as the IBF to set the highest professional standards of training in Singapore and beyond.

In alignment with IBF, Bank of Singapore’s learning framework is centred on eight broad pillars: Digital Awareness, Agile/Entrepreneurial Thinking, Data Analysis, Future Communications, Human Centred Design, Risk & Governance, Leadership, and Banking & Finance (industry knowledge). These are capabilities which have been identified as being increasingly important for finance professionals.

Bank of Singapore also works closely with the IBF to curate and develop learning programmes that meet the developmental needs of our employees as well as the requirements of the business. We currently have over 300 courses and programmes that have been accredited by the IBF, which attests to the quality for our learning programs and affirms the exacting proficiency levels demanded of Bank of Singapore employees.

One of our key IBF-accredited programmes focuses on Front Office Advisory, with the aim of preparing and upskilling our front office employees to face and manage disruptions in wealth management advisory services.

For instance, to keep pace with changing client demands and emerging technologies, we have curated a workforce transformation journey to upskill our Marketing Associates and Business Management teams with relevant skills such as digital competencies, data analytics, product knowledge, customer centricity, etc. Acquiring these new skills allows them to progress to more value-added activities, including engaging in more complex client engagements and analysis work.

For relationship managers, we have identified that one future area of opportunity they should explore more is in the area of digital prospecting and lead generation. We have therefore developed a programme for them, also IBF-accredited, to learn how to build and cultivate their digital presence and brand, reach out to and engage a network of potential clients digitally, and service them with digital tools.

Across the Front Office Advisory programme, we have logged over 1,000 course completions across 2020 and 2021, encompassing over 16,000 training hours committed.

We also have in place an in-house Professional Conversion Programme (PCP), developed jointly with IBF as well, which supplements the courses and workshops we already offer our employees to prepare them for future trends and challenges. Under the PCP, Bank of Singapore’s Operations team members undergo a structured 3-month reskilling program to learn new and higher level skills such as business process re-engineering, data analytics, AGILE fundamentals, ESG and sustainability principles, and more.

Over 110 completions have been logged across 2020 and 2021 under the Operations PCP programme, encompassing close to 6,000 training hours committed. 

In fact, IBF certifications and training programmes are one of the key considerations for staff promotion in certain departments. For instance, completion of the IBF-accredited Advanced Certificate in Program Banking and our in-house developed Structured Advisory Programs are mandatory for the career progression of our relationship managers.

​Cultivating a ground-up, self-directed culture of learning

Creating a vibrant, ground-up learning culture with engaged, self-directed learners is an important aspect of Bank of Singapore’s approach to Learning and Talent Management. It is important to build a community of learners who learn because they see the intrinsic value in doing so, and for our people to learn the skills necessary to thrive in a digital age. A vibrant learning eco-system catalyses organisational success and pushes boundaries for growth.

Employees are provided access to a wide library of learning resources such as those on Learn@IBF, Coursera, Datacamp, Cornerstone, LinkedIn Learning, and more. Employees are empowered to embark on their learning journeys at their own convenience, any time, anywhere. 

Our learning campaign “ADDICTED” was also designed with several gamification and contest elements such as rewards and real-time leaderboards, to make it more engaging and exciting for employees to participate in.

Against a rapidly changing and increasingly disruptive business landscape, Bank of Singapore will continue to leverage IBF’s well-scoped skills inventory to anchor a skills-first organization and ensure our employees are equipped with the most updated knowledge and relevant skills.