Awards for Distinction 2017 – Best Private Bank – Training & Development



Bank Of Singapore


Jeffrey Chiam

Global head of human resources, Bank of Singapore

“A robust talent development programme is needed, in order to develop an agile and adaptable workforce in the technology disrupted private banking industry.

Talent development has always been a key pillar of our business. We take a long-term view in the development of our employees; promoting a vibrant learning culture to instil the importance of continuous learning. We are glad to see that our employees have embraced this learning culture.”

Winners rationale

Not only does Asia’s private banking industry face a talent squeeze across the front, middle and back offices, but environmental complexities, especially around risk/compliance and technological advancement, have prompted banks to devote greater resources to employee learning and development. In 2017, Bank of Singapore did more than any other private bank in the region in terms enhancing its training and development opportunities for employees.

Bank of Singapore may not have the global scale and experience of its large European and US peers to leverage upon when it comes to employee training, but it has nevertheless developed a curriculum and andragogy that is personal, practical, and “panoramic”, and that is attentive to the bank’s evolving needs as a tier-one provider of wealth management services in Asia.

Much has changed since Bank of Singapore’s early days when the primary training focus was on basic advisory and regulation. Steadily, Bank of Singapore has developed its training and development proposition, introducing mobile content and a greater degree of learning roadmap customisation, implementing top-down and bottom-up processes to better understand staff needs, and deepening collaboration with the wider industry including the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF) and Nanyang Technological University.

Since 2014, total training hours across the entire private bank have increased three fold covering over 2,000 employees, with the average number of training days per employee per year jumping 200% over the same period. And in 2017, total training hours for front office staff increased 46% YoY, as did the balance in the curriculum, with risk/compliance and investor knowledge receiving a greater relative emphasis.

Milestones in 2017 include the rollout of an Advanced Certificate in Private Banking for marketing associates and support functions, accredited at IBF level one; the launch of a learning carnival, with an emphasis on future adaptability and resilience; localised inductions of staff in Hong Kong and the Dubai International Financial Centre branch, involving multiple modes of training; and the commencement of a second Advanced Diploma class with a 28-strong cohort.

The fact that Bank of Singapore has come so far in what is a relatively short period is a testament to the firm’s dedication to raising professional standards from day one. And, significantly, the fact that there is demonstrable buy-in and support from key personnel throughout the bank shows just how serious Bank of Singapore is to imbue in the firm a culture of improvement.

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