Foreword by Director The Association of Banks in Singapore

1163_1In spite of rising trade tensions, the global economy is still growing at a steady clip. In its latest report, the International Monetary Fund has maintained the global growth forecast for this year and the next at 3.9%. Underpinned by robust performances in China, India and developing economies, Asia is expected to outpace the global average with a growth rate of 5.6% and account for nearly two-thirds of global growth.

As Asia continues to power ahead and as the Asian middle class and enterprises expand, they will fuel demand for financing and risk management solutions, from trade and structured trade finance and cross-border corporate lending to corporate treasury services and wealth management.

As one of the leading financial centres in the world, Singapore is well placed to capture this growth. In asset management, Singapore is continuing to do well with robust growth across both traditional and alternative assets on continued inflows to Asian markets and higher valuations. Efforts in growing the private financing market are also reaping results. Alternative assets under management are expanding at double digits, led by venture capital and private equity.

In foreign exchange (FX) trading, Singapore is the largest FX centre in the Asia-Pacific region and the third largest globally. Singapore is also bolstering its position as an e-trading hub for foreign exchange, facilitating better price discovery during Asian hours and better execution for players in the region.

In the bond market, Singapore is emerging as a leading bond market with corporate debt issuance volumes rising at double digits.

To secure Singapore’s position as a leading global financial centre in Asia, a roadmap was unveiled in October 2017. Co-created by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and industry, including banks, asset managers and insurers, the Financial Services Industry Transformation roadmap aims to maintain Singapore as a leading international wealth management hub, Asian hub for fund management and domiciliation and global foreign exchange price discovery and liquidity centre in the Asian time zone.

As technology is transforming the way financial services are produced, delivered and consumed, the roadmap also aims to facilitate innovation in the financial sector and encourage technology adoption for increased efficiency. Several iconic projects have been identified covering a range of technologies in payments, blockchain and application programming interface.

In order to achieve the goals established, it will require the combined efforts of all stakeholders – financial institutions across the broad spectrum, employees as well as the government.

On this note, I would like to thank Marshall Cavendish Business Information Pte Ltd for publishing the Singapore Banking and Financial Services Directory, which provides a definitive list of banks and financial institutions in Singapore, as well as the spectrum of products and services they offer.

Mrs Ong-Ang Ai Boon