MAS Says Falsehoods Around Financial Sector Hiring ‘Unfair’: ST

The spreading of falsehoods around the hiring practices of financial institutions is “unhelpful” and “unfair,” the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in response to queries the fallout from recent changes in rules on foreign employment, the Straits Times reported.

“The propagation of falsehoods by some individuals is unhelpful for an informed discussion on these issues; not to mention, unfair to the financial institutions concerned as well as to the foreigners who work here and contribute to Singapore,” the MAS said in a statement, according to the newspaper. “We hear the views and concerns of Singaporeans who have spoken up on the issue of local representation in the financial sector.”

Singapore on Thursday announced an increase in the minimum monthly salaries of employment and S-pass holders, which could make it tougher for companies to hire foreigners over Singaporean applicants. In the financial services industry, the minimum qualifying amount for an employment pass will be increased to S$5,000 ($3,680), given higher pay in the sector. It’s the first time such requirements have been set higher for a particular industry, the Ministry of Manpower said.

Employment pass holders in other sectors must now earn S$4,500 a month, up from S$3,900, and S-pass holders must meet a S$2,500 threshold instead of S$2,400.

The city-state’s central is “stepping up efforts to ensure more diversity in firms and functions, and equal opportunity for Singaporeans” and will release more details in coming months, according to the newspaper.

“Singaporeans are generally doing well in the financial sector, but MAS would like to see more of them move into the senior ranks,” the central bank said in the statement.

Singapore’s business community has been under pressure to maintain an appropriate balance of local and foreign workers, with the city-state’s economy facing its worst recession on record. MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon said last week the central bank would “intensify” its engagement with financial firms on their hiring practices in order to grow the “Singaporean core.”

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