28 February 2024

On 24 January 2024, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) launched the Singapore Sustainable Finance Association (“SSFA”) as the first cross-sectoral industry body to support the development of Singapore as a leading global centre for sustainable finance. The SSFA will foster closer collaboration across various asset classes in the financial sector and strengthen the nexus with real economy sectors, to support the growth of Singapore as a trusted, vibrant, and inclusive sustainable finance centre.

Set up to include members from financial services, non-financial sector corporates, academia, non-governmental organisations and other industry bodies, SSFA will work towards four strategic objectives:

  • Galvanise the development of sustainable finance ecosystem and promote best sustainable finance practices in Singapore;
  • Facilitate collaboration between the financial and non-financial sectors for sustainable finance to support the low carbon transition and sustainable economic growth of Singapore and the region;
  • Bolster Singapore as an international thought leader in sustainable finance; and
  • Support the deepening of sustainable finance capabilities for the industry in Singapore.

In his speech delivered at the launch of SSFA, MAS Managing Director Chia Der Jiun highlighted that MAS, the Institute of Banking and Finance (“IBF”) and Workforce Singapore have embarked on a Jobs Transformation Map to study the impact of sustainability on the financial sector workforce. Preliminary findings suggest the need to augment most jobs by upskilling to support changes in regulations, products, and processes to better serve their clients. Further, new and highly specialised roles such as sustainability risk analysts will be created.

To make a difference through standards, solutions and skills, SSFA will serve as a key platform to bring together the financial sector and industry sectors to collaborate and leverage the deep expertise from each domain:

  • Standards: SSFA can lead in developing industry best practices in areas such as carbon credits trading and transition finance.
  • Solutions: SSFA can bring together financial institutions and industry sectors to identify more integrated approaches to address barriers in scaling the financing needed.
  • Skills: SSFA can contribute to upskilling and capacity building initiatives by guiding the relevance of sustainable finance courses offered by institutes of higher learning and other training providers. SSFA can also promote the take-up of IBF’s skills certification schemes and organise capacity building workshops in areas not readily offered by the training providers, e.g. carbon markets, taxonomy application and blended finance.

MAS expects to share the detailed findings of the study and the key initiatives to support the sector’s upskilling in April 2024.

Reference materials

The speech is available on the MAS website www.mas.gov.sg.

More information about SSFA is available on its website www.ssfa.org.sg.