MP He Ting Ru

Ms He Ting Ru asked the Prime Minister (a) in the last five years, how many applications have been received annually from individuals for all the various schemes under the Financial Sector Development Fund (FSDF); (b) how many of these applications are successful; (c) of the successful applications, how many are (i) Singapore citizens and (ii) permanent residents respectively; and (d) what is the total amount paid out under these schemes.

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam (for the Prime Minister): The Financial Sector Development Fund (FSDF) provides grants to both financial institutions (FIs) and individuals. Some of the FSDF grants to FIs are aimed specifically at supporting the career development of individuals in the financial sector, as described below.

With respect to individuals, FSDF provides course fee subsidies to Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, under training schemes administered by the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF). These training programmes help to equip them with skills required to keep pace with the dynamic nature of the financial sector, especially in areas such as digitalisation, sustainable finance, and cybersecurity.

 Since 2017, FSDF has disbursed S$188 million of course fee subsidies to about 176,000 individuals, of whom 153,000 (or 87%) were Singapore Citizens. Grant funding for individuals increased significantly in the past two years1, as more individuals enrolled themselves in IBF accredited training programmes, notably in areas like cloud computing, data interpretation, and compliance. The annual statistics relating to schemes providing course fee subsidies are provided in the table below. All claims received were approved. 

With respect to FIs, FSDF provides grants to help develop Singapore Citizens in the financial sector at different stages of their careers:

At the pre-entry level, the Work-Study Support Programme provides funding support to FIs which offer internships to Singaporean students to acquire work experience and work-relevant skills.

At the entry level, the Finance Associate Management Scheme supports the hiring and training of fresh Singaporean graduates and early career convertees from other sectors through structured talent development programmes.

At the mid-career level, the International Postings Programme encourages FIs to send promising Singaporeans on overseas postings so that they are better positioned to take on future global or regional leadership roles.

At the senior level, the Asian Financial Leaders Scheme funds the participation of Singaporeans in management positions in curated leadership programmes to better enable them to navigate the diverse business, regulatory and legal environment in the region and globally.

For deep specialist roles, the Financial Specialist Scholarship helps to develop a pipeline of specialist Singaporean leaders in key growth areas in the financial services sector, including sustainable finance and data science.

Over the past five years, FSDF has supported almost 600 applications from FIs, amounting to S$86 million under the various talent development schemes. This has benefitted close to 2,200 Singapore Citizens. The annual statistics relating to these schemes are provided in the table below. On average, almost all applications received were approved, save for the Financial Specialist Scholarship where the approval rate is about 50%2.

Prime Minister’s Office
15 February 2022

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