Annual Report 2015/2016
The Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF) was established in 1974 as a not-for-profit industry association to develop the professional competencies of the financial sector. IBF serves as the national accreditation and certification agency for the IBF Standards (previously known as the Financial Industry Competency Standards or FICS). IBF develops industry standards and identifies professional development pathways to uplift the competency of financial sector practitioners. In partnership with the financial industry and training providers, IBF is dedicated to promoting the Asian standard of excellence for practitioners in finance.
The Asian standard of excellence for practitioners in finance.
To empower practitioners with capabilities for a robust Asian financial industry.
The financial industry is facing fundamental transformation. Slower economic growth, narrower margins, tighter regulation and greater competition are some of the headwinds that the industry has to contend with. But there is another driving force shaping the industry – technology. And depending on how financial institutions respond, it can be either a headwind or a tailwind. IBF is working with the industry and with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to make sure technology is a tailwind for the Singapore financial sector.
Whether it helps or hinders, one thing is sure: technology will be disruptive. Many jobs will be made redundant. But many new ones will also be created.
In this new ‘disruptive’ landscape, financial industry professionals must remain agile and nimble. They must be open to acquiring new skills. IBF has been reviewing its set of core industry competencies to prepare pipelines of new talent. The national SkillsFuture initiative provides an overarching framework in anchoring IBF’s efforts to develop financial sector skills of the future.
Let me highlight some of these efforts.
NEW JOBS, NEW SKILLS
In February 2016, IBF collaborated with the Financial Sector Tripartite Committee, led by MAS, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) to review jobs in the banking industry. IBF will be looking at two major streams:
In December 2015, IBF collaborated with the Polytechnics on their enhanced internship programmes. These internships will now have learning outcomes mapped against the job competencies spelt out in the IBF Standards. IBF is also in discussions with various Institutes of Higher Learning to map their curriculum to the IBF Standards.
IBF launched two new Standards in the last year: (i) Sales and Trading/Execution (Retail); and (ii) Financial Planning. Targeted at securities trading representatives and financial advisers respectively, these new IBF Standards aim to build deep technical competencies and boost client skills, with a strong emphasis on ethics, risks, and controls. The Standards were widely supported by the stockbroking and financial advisory industries. IBF will work with training providers to ensure certification programmes are in place to equip stockbrokers, dealers and financial advisers with these competencies.
IBF also introduced competency standards in new job roles for Financial Markets. Besides traditional functions in Institutional Sales and Trading, the IBF Standards for Financial Markets now provide for new competencies for Asset Liability Management, Business Risk & Control as well as Product Structuring.
Many more financial institutions are now mapping their internal training programmes against the IBF Standards. As at end 2015, close to 17,000 practitioners have been trained under the IBF Standards, with close to 3,400 practitioners certified.
Together with shorter-run programmes, IBF now recognises a total of 1,620 training programmes across our various schemes.
IBF continues to celebrate distinction and recognise professional excellence. In 2015, we welcomed our latest batch of IBF Distinguished Fellows and IBF Fellows. The IBF Distinguished Fellows are C-suite level leaders who have reached the epitome of professional stature and achievement in the financial sector. Our IBF Fellows are industry veterans who have demonstrated mastery of a profession and exemplify thought leadership and commitment to industry development. Congratulations to our six newly-minted IBF Distinguished Fellows and 21 IBF Fellows.
GROWING AND ENGAGING THE IBF COMMUNITY
IBF has stepped up efforts to engage the IBF Community. The IBF CACS Connects for the private banking community and the IBF Connects now see more than 1,000 practitioners networking and discussing industry best practices. IBF has also started engaging the community on social media, including Instagram, LinkedIn and online chatrooms.
IBF is also pleased to have launched the IBF Portal with increased functionalities. You can now check on new training programmes, track your CPD hours, register for examinations or submit claims in one seamless platform.
I would like to thank Aw Tuan Kee, Magnus Bocker and Goh Eng Ghee who had made strong contributions to the IBF Council and stepped down in 2015.
I warmly welcome Ang Zhongren, Loh Boon Chye and Julia Ng to the IBF Council. We acknowledge our gratitude to Wee Ee Cheong, the Chairman of the IBF Standards Committee as well as Shirish Apte and Philip Lee who lead the IBF Audit Committee and the Investment Committee respectively. I would also like to express my thanks for the continuing efforts of the various IBF Working Groups to raise industry standards.
I look forward to our Members’ support and partnership in the coming year. I urge the industry to remain steadfast in its efforts to build resilience and enhance skills and capabilities.
The IBF Council provides guidance on the strategic direction of IBF to ensure that it remains relevant and adds value to the financial industry. It is made up of representatives from financial institutions, trade associations and government agencies.
The IBF Standards Committee comprises members representing various sub-sectors of the financial services industry. The Committee provides leadership for the development and implementation of the IBF Standards, certification and CPD for the financial industry. IBF plays the role as the Committee’s executive arm to implement these initiatives so as to raise industry standards.
IBF celebrates the achievements of the recipients of the prestigious IBF Awards. They have been unwavering in their journey of learning and will serve as an inspiration to their peers in the industry.
We are honoured to have Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong join us as Guest-of-Honour at the IBF Distinction Evening 2015. The annual gala dinner gathers financial sector leaders in an evening to recognise the contributions of IBF partners and stakeholders, and to honour financial institutions and industry captains who have achieved professional excellence.
In his keynote address, ESM Goh highlighted how IBF acts as a catalyst to raise the competencies of financial sector practitioners to meet future industry challenges. ESM Goh called on the industry to map more structured training offerings against the IBF Standards. It was a great encouragement for IBF to have ESM Goh endorse the IBF Standards as the definitive standard in the raising of financial sector competencies.
ESM Goh also presided over the conferment of the IBF Distinguished Fellow award to six industry captains. The IBF Distinguished Fellows are C-suite leaders who have reached the epitome of professional stature and achievement in the financial sector.
ESM Goh also presented the IBF Inspire Award to DBS Bank, and the IBF Inspiring Educator Award to the Financial Training Institute@Singapore Management University (FTI@SMU). IBF Chairman Ravi Menon also presented the “IBF Fellow” title to 21 senior industry veterans. The “IBF Fellow” title recognises industry veterans who have demonstrated mastery of a profession and exemplify thought leadership and commitment to industry development.
The Institute of Banking & Finance Singapore (IBF) congratulates the recipients of the IBF Awards 2015. These awards are a testament to their commitment to professional excellence and raising industry competencies via the IBF Standards. IBF wishes them continued success on their journey of learning.
The “IBF Distinguished Fellow” is the epitome of industry recognition under the IBF Standards. The IBF Distinguished Fellows are thought-leaders who exemplify professional competence and commitment to excellence. They are master craftsmen and role models, serving as beacons of excellence for the financial services industry.
To deepen and master skills in financial services, IBF will work to foster fruitful collaborations among financial institutions, industry associations, Institutes of Higher Learning and training providers to provide meaningful learning pathways and training opportunities.
With the aim of upskilling the stockbroking industry, IBF and the Singapore Exchange (SGX) announced new training and development initiatives.
IBF launched a new professional development roadmap for Trading Representatives- the “IBF Standards for Sales and Trading/Execution (Retail)”. These new Standards will incorporate competency standards to foster deep technical competencies, and provide a good understanding of market developments, as well as laws and regulations.
It would also allow Trading Representatives to be more familiar with new products.
A fresh element of the revised Standards is aimed at boosting the Trading Representatives’ client skills – client acquisition, onboarding and needs analysis and client servicing. Another new emphasis will also be on ethics, risks and controls, as well as coverage on overseas markets and technologies. IBF will be working with SGX Academy to offer a certification pathways to provide a Dealer/Remisier with training to progress to more senior roles.
These new initiatives were warmly welcomed by the industry, with the Securities Association of Singapore (SAS) and the Society of Remisiers, Singapore (SRS) welcoming the efforts to upgrade the skills of Trading Representatives.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), together with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) announced the formation of the Financial Sector Tripartite Committee (FSTC). Reflecting the spirit of tripartism, the FSTC will bring together the industry associations, labour movement, and government to foster a financial workforce that can meet the changing needs of the financial industry.
IBF has committed to work with the FSTC to review the IBF Standards and identify new cross-functional competencies, such as in data analytics and risk management. Structured progression pathways will also be developed for evolving job segments including Consumer Banking, to encourage continuous learning and upskilling.
IBF, in close partnership with the industry, launched a new skills roadmap for financial planning – the IBF Standards for Financial Planning. These new Standards provide a structured professional development roadmap and certification pathway for financial advisers (FA).
The IBF Standards for Financial Planning are the result of an industry partnership among the key industry associations in the financial advisory industry, namely the Life Insurance Association (LIA), the Association of Financial Advisers, Singapore (AFA(S)), Financial Planning Association of Singapore (FPAS) and Insurance and Financial Practitioners Association of Singapore (IFPAS). This represents the first time that the financial advisory industry has come together to agree on a common set of competency standards for the industry.
Besides covering core skills in constructing holistic financial plans and developing deep technical skills relating to cash management plus insurance, investment and retirement planning, the IBF Standards for Financial Planning introduces several new competency areas in guiding an FA’s professional development: Financial Planning for High Net Worth Individuals and for Business Owners, Management of FA representatives as well as Ethical principles in financial advisory process.
The IBF Standards also provides a structured certification pathway which facilitates progression into more senior roles. IBF has worked closely with FPAS, IFPAS and the Singapore College of Insurance (SCI) to confer the IBF accreditation status on the widely-recognised Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Chartered Financial Consultant/Singapore (ChFC/S) qualifications awarded by FPAS and the SCI respectively.
In partnership with Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and the industry, IBF has also sought to engage aspiring practitioners to further grow the IBF Community.
IBF management with senior industry executives participated at several career talks at various Institutes of Higher Learning, highlighting the job roles of Operations Managers, Relationship Managers and Compliance Officers. IBF provided career advice on appropriate learning pathways and certification programmes available. This helped to better equip students with skillset and capabilities to be more job-ready for the financial sector.
IBF participated in the UBS Youth Finance Academy to discuss Skills Of the Future with 50 enthusiastic students from 18 pre-tertiary institutions. This program introduces pre-tertiary students to the world of finance and business and aims to foster awareness and deepen understanding on banking and finance careers.
IBF, in partnership with the industry, will continue to play a vital and proactive role in growing Singapore’s dynamic financial centre.
The IBF Standards accreditation process comprises independent reviews of a training provider’s ability to conduct programmes that meet industry standards. IBF accreditation serves as an industry-endorsed mark of quality for training and assessment for the financial industry.
Several training providers share their perspectives on the value of IBF accreditation.
The Singapore Private Banking Industry continues to display strong adoption of CACS CPD.
In 2015, all private banking entities have sent their private banking professionals to undertake relevant CPD programmes. Furthermore, 99.7% of these professionals have fulfilled the minimum requirement of at least 15 hours of CACS CPD. Whilst the CACS guidelines require only a minimum of 15 CPD hours be fulfilled, IBF also noticed a consistent trend of private banking professionals volunteering to undertake more training hours to upskill themselves.
Nearly 40% of Covered Persons clocked 20 hours or more of CPD. This is 11% higher than the previous year. This trend can be attributed to more training hours being committed to regulatory / compliance-related training to keep industry abreast of the latest global and local regulatory changes. Another contributing factor was also that Private Banks have been more disciplined in introducing structured training programmes for their staff and in sending them for accredited training programmes.
IBF administers the Capital Markets and Financial Advisory Services Examinations (CMFAS) and the Client Advisor Competency Standards (CACS) Assessment as well as the Financial Markets Regulatory and Practices (FMRP) Examination and Corporate Banking Common Examination (CBCE).
Enrolments for these exams are as follows:
Besides enhancing professional excellence, IBF also organises industry events to facilitate discussion on industry best practices.
The IBF Connect serves as an avenue for certified professionals to network, share experiences and discuss industry developments. It is also a key platform for IBF Distinguished Fellows and IBF Fellows to act as mentors to the industry
– to share their insights and perspectives with other certified practitioners.
Cyber Risks and Technological Innovations in the Financial Industry were the brood themes at the IBF Connect for the Technology and Operations sector. The event attracted over 100 practitioners. Tommy Tan, Deputy Director, Specialist Risk Department from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) delivered an insightful presentation on Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Assessment. Several industry experts also shared their insights, providing an overview of Cyber Risk as well as FinTech and Disruptive Innovation.
The IBF Connect entitled AML Trends and Emerging Risk Areas 2016 attracted over 170 compliance and risk practitioners. This year’s edition of the ever-popular Compliance Connect also highlighted new trends in Fintech innovation for the Compliance industry.
Lem Chin Kok, Executive Director, KPMG shared findings from KPMG’s 2014 Anti-Money Laundering Survey. This was followed by insights on FinTech Innovation for Compliance by Markus Gnirck, Co-Founder and Global COO, Startupbootcamp FinTech. Wilson Ang, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright delivered a presentation on Emerging Trends and Risks from local, regional and international reports. Alexandru Caciuloiu, Digital Crime Officer, Cybercrime Training Management, Cyber Innovation and Outreach, INTERPOL discussed “INTERPOL Advanced Threat Assessment - The Dark Menace”.
A lively panel discussion ensued on issues and challenges on compliance, governance, risk management and technology and its impact on compliance/risk management professionals in Singapore.
Disruptive innovation and increasingly onerous regulation were key themes at the Financial Planning Connect entitled Trends and Emerging Challenges for the Financial Planning Industry 2016, attended by 120 practitioners. Several industry experts shared their insights on global trends, developments and challenges for the financial planning industry in Singapore. The event featured presentations on The Experience Economy: How Technology Will Reimagine The Financial Services Industry by Iker Ibanez, South East Asia Digital Services Leader, PwC Singapore and Regulatory Trends and its Impact on the Financial Planning Industry by Lee Chiwi, CEO, Rockwills Group.
A panel discussion delved deeper into emerging challenges for the Financial Planning Industry.
IBF’s annual Connect event for the Wealth Management sector was held on 3 March 2016. Entitled The Transformation of the Wealth Management Industry, the event was attended by close to 150 practitioners from the private banking industry. IBF was privileged to have IBF Fellows Lawrence Lua, Managing Director, Head of DBS Private Bank, South & Southeast Asia and Conrad Lim, Managing Director & Deputy CEO, Regional Head Legal & Compliance, LGT Bank share their perspectives during a CEO dialogue on the transformation of the Wealth Industry.
Consultants and industry veterans also discussed the latest trends for Wealth Management such as new operating / business models, Institutional Approach to Private Wealth Management and Managing Private Wealth.
The IBF Connect entitled New Competency Frontiers of Financial Planning attracted over 120 practitioners from the financial planning and insurance industry. This seminar also marked the launch of the new IBF Standards for Financial Planning.
In her keynote address, Ms Merlyn Ee, Executive Director, (Capital Markets Intermediaries I), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) shared how the IBF Standards for Financial Planning can help uplift the industry. Dr Fong Wai Mun, Associate Professor, National University of Singapore discussed the importance of how financial advisers can move up the value chain. This was followed by insights on investors’ sentiments by Mr Damien Ng, Vice President, Head of Retail Distribution, BlackRock Singapore. Ms Rachie Hui, Deputy CEO, IBF then highlighted how financial advisers can be equipped with skills to meet the future needs of customers via the IBF Standards.
A panel comprising the Presidents of major industry associations in Singapore then provided a lively discussion on market trends, challenges and the next phase of growth for the financial planning industry in Singapore.
The latest edition of the IBF Connect put the spotlight on The Future of Technology and Operations in Banking, with a turnout of over 100 practitioners. During the seminar, industry experts discussed Cyber Security Trends, Next Generation Banks and Cyber threats facing the financial sector.
IBF Distinguished Fellow Susan Hwee (Managing Director and Head of Group Technology and Operations, United Overseas Bank Limited) and IBF Fellows Olivier Crespin (Group Head Digital Bank, DBS Bank Ltd) and Stacey N. Lacy (Head of Operations & Technology, Singapore & ASEAN, Citibank N.A. Singapore Branch) shared their perspectives on the future of technology and operations in banking during a lively panel discussion.
Expanding on the success of the IBF Connects, IBF launched a new IBF CACS Connect series dedicated to support the private banking community. This series sees Private Banks taking turns to host the private banking community at their bank’s premises and in availing the industry to in-house speakers and thought-leaders. IBF is grateful to the following banks which have kindly hosted the IBF CACS Connect in 2015 / 2016. Look out for more IBF CACS Connects in 2016.
The inaugural IBF CACS Connect highlighted issues relating to Shaping The Future of Ultra High Banking. The event was hosted by Credit Suisse. Francesco de Ferrari, Head of Private Banking and Wealth Management, Asia Pacific, Credit Suisse delivered the opening address. Senior management executives from Credit Suisse and industry experts then shared their perspectives on the UHNW Private Banking Landscape/Trends, Shaping the Future of Private Banking, Family Offices in Asia and insights and best practices on learning and Continuing Professional Development for the private banking industry.
The IBF CACS Connect at UBS, explored Future Trends in the Wealth Management Industry in APAC. Susan Co, IBF Fellow and Managing Director & Vice Chairman South East Asia Wealth Management, UBS delivered the opening address. Senior management executives from UBS discussed a broad range of issues relating to Global Trends, Challenges and Opportunities in Family Office, Trusts as well as the increasing impact of analytics, digitalization and innovation on Wealth Management and the application of Behavioural finance on Asian client portfolios.
The spotlight was on The Changing Landscape For High-Net Worth Investors at the IBF CACS Connect hosted by BNP Paribas Wealth Management. Ernest Leung, CEO, BNP Paribas Wealth Management delivered the opening address. Senior management executives from BNP Paribas Wealth Management and industry experts shared their expertise and perspectives, discussing a range of issues relating to Understanding the Asian HNW Investor, Implications of Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) in the Ultra High Net Worth Landscape, Investor Behaviour and Asset Allocation and The Changing Landscape for Investors relating to Private Equity.
The IBF CACS Connect@Citi Private Bank discussed Differentiation in a Crowded and Commoditized Industry. Bassam Salem, Managing Director and Region Head Asia Pacific, Citi Private Bank commenced proceedings with his opening remarks. Senior management executives from Citi Private Bank provided insights on a broad range of trends and developments relating to discretionary asset management strategies, hedge fund strategies and investor behaviour.
It was a night of celebration, networking and learning as the IBF Community welcomed 350 newly-minted certified practitioners from the industry segments of Corporate Banking, Technology and Operations and Wealth Management.
In his congratulatory remarks, Mr Wee Ee Cheong, IBF Vice-Chairman and Deputy Chairman and CEO of United Overseas Bank Limited said, “Whether it is new regulations, new technologies or new customer behaviour, the industry and individuals must be “future-ready”, both in terms of deep functional competencies and cross-functional skills.” Mr Wee also elaborated on IBF’s efforts to enhance its online service offerings and further strengthen its presence on social media.
A key highlight of the Graduation ceremony were structured mentoring sessions conducted by several IBF Distinguished Fellows and IBF Fellows. The industry veterans generously shared their guidance and professional insights with the graduates, discussing diverse topics relating to industry trends and professional development.
In 2015/2016, IBF launched its presence on Instagram and LinkedIn to digitally connect with our IBF certified individuals, who number over 3,000 and to build a vibrant online community of IBF certified individuals. Highlights of key IBF events can also now be viewed on YouTube.
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