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12 skills and competencies required for a career in sustainable finance in Singapore

12 skills and competencies required for a career in sustainable finance in Singapore

Called the Sustainable Finance Technical Skills and Competencies (SF TSCs), the framework uses thematic, and functional knowledge topics to outline the criteria needed for professionals.

Individuals in Singapore who are interested in pursuing sustainable finance, an integration of environmental, social & governance (ESG) and financial services, as a career can rely on the latest Sustainable Finance Technical Skills and Competencies (SF TSCs), a skills & competencies framework formulated by the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF), and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Released on 9 February 2022 (Wednesday), the SF TSCs encompass information on occupations & job roles, career pathways, and training programmes for skills upgrading, and mastery. It covers all of this under thematic and functional knowledge topics, described below.

The following are the 12 skills and competencies required for a career in sustainable finance in Singapore, as listed out by the SF TSCs:

1. Carbon markets and decarbonisation strategies management
Lead organisation's strategy in response to current and projected carbon policy, market developments and decarbonisation strategies, and provide support for the organisation and clients to decarbonise and become net-zero.

2. Climate change management
Synthesise information on climate change and climate policy developments to shape the organisation's strategies and policies, products and/or services.

3. Natural capital management
Develop market research on natural capital and lead organisation's strategies and policies in response to natural capital policy and market developments, to support decision making and organisational dealings.

4. Taxonomy application
Analyse and shape organisation's strategy, policies, practices and relevant business activities in response to key domestic, regional and global taxonomies that classify green and transition economic activities.

5. Impact indicators, measurement and reporting
Analyse, monitor and report impact of sustainability actions and lead the organisation in setting impact mission and targets for the organisation or customers.

6. Non-financial industry sustainability developments
Synthesise sustainability-related risks, opportunities and market developments of the non-financial industries, and their impact and application to the organisation and the financial sector.

7. Sustainable insurance and re-insurance solutions and applications
Develop new and/or existing sustainable insurance and/or re-insurance solutions which are aligned with international best practices and support customers in improving their sustainability performance over time.

8. Sustainable investment management
Lead organisation's strategies on sustainable investment and implement sustainable investment concepts and approaches on portfolio management.

9. Sustainable lending instruments structuring
Structure key sustainable lending instruments, which includes bonds, loans, project and trade financing, derivatives, blended finance and develop incentive mechanism to encourage adoption of these instruments.

10. Sustainability reporting
Lead development of organisation's sustainability reporting and accounting policies and processes in line with regulatory requirements and international best practices.

11. Sustainability risk management
Develop frameworks, strategies and policies for managing sustainability risks for the organisation to minimise and mitigate risks and the impact both upon and by the organisation.

12. Sustainability stewardship development
Lead the development of the organisation's stewardship strategy, focus areas, policies and practices, and implement stewardship to achieve organisation's investment and sustainability goal.

Details about the specific topics can be found here.

Financial institutions and training providers are "strongly encouraged", by IBF and MAS, to design training programmes around the SF TSCs. "Banks, asset managers and insurers have the flexibility to adopt SF TSCs relevant to their employees and organisation."

Other than that, the IBF said that it will work closely with the industry to curate high quality training programmes, and onboard training providers whose curriculum are aligned with the SF TSCs. Participants who enrol in IBF-accredited training programmes can defray up to 90% of training expenses under the IBF-Standards Training Scheme grant.

Further, the SF TSCs will be reviewed periodically to take account of evolving developments, and needs in sustainable finance. "Future enhancements could include raising the competency standards for specific roles and introducing more SF TSCs for new job roles".

Leong Sing Chiong, Deputy Managing Director (Markets and Development), MAS, said: "We are seeing strong and growing demand for sustainable finance talent as Singapore plays a larger role as a sustainable finance hub for the region. The launch of the SF TSCs today is a critical step in building a deep talent pool in sustainable finance, and I encourage all financial institutions to use them as a benchmark to achieve excellence in sustainable finance skills and talent development".

Sharing his comments on the framework, Ng Nam Sin, Chief Executive Officer, IBF, said that developing sustainable finance skills and talent for the financial service industry "is imperative", and the addition of the framework "will ensure" finance services professionals possess up-to-date skills and knowledge in sustainability.

"This will greatly support financial institutions as they build sustainability capabilities to serve the growing needs of Singapore and the region," he added.

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