Brexit a chance for S'pore to hire London talent

Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), poses for a photograph following a Bloomberg Television interview at the Singapore Fintech Conference in Singapore, on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016.
PHOTO: Bloomberg

Britain leaving the European Union is opening up an opportunity for Singapore to recruit talent for its ambitious plans to become a leading financial technology hub, said the chief FinTech officer of the city-state's central bank.

"First thing after Brexit happened, we talked about talent - talent coming out of the UK," said Sopnendu Mohanty of the Monetary Authority of Singapore at a panel discussion at Singapore's first FinTech festival.

"I agree they have a huge pool of talent and it's good to have something like that so we can take some talent out."

Britain's economic secretary to the treasury Simon Kirby, one of the officials in attendance, told the audience that London will remain a leading financial centre.

But he acknowledged that Singapore might be able to lure some of the talent.

"Brexit is an opportunity, not a risk," Mr Kirby said.

Mr Mohanty said Singapore was making its own efforts to develop talent, building a research centre dedicated to FinTech and retraining people from the financial industry.

People needed to "wake up" to the need to learn new skills, he added, as "financial services in 5 to 10 years' time will be called FinTech".

Some 11,000 participants - including software giant Microsoft and global banks such as Citibank and Standard Chartered - from more than 50 countries have gathered for the week-long FinTech event.