SBOA Takes Bold Steps Towards Representing PMEs

11 January 2019, Fri

By Avelyn Ng

As part of a repositioning, the Singapore Bank Officer’s Association (SBOA) has opened its membership doors to all professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) in banking and financial services.

According to an announcement by NTUC on 11 January 2019, SBOA union leaders voted to rename the union to Banking and Financial Services Union (BFSU).

Along with the name change, the union amended its constitution to allow workers employed in any capacity in the Singapore banking and financial services industry and related services to join BFSU.

Previously, the union limited membership to only administrative and managerial staff of local banks.

“Based on the manpower statistics in 2016 and 2017, you see a lot of churn in the industry, people losing jobs and wanting a mid-career switch. One key thing for us is to make sure they stay employable.

“A lot of routine roles are transformed, and there are a lot of new opportunities such as risk management, wealth management, compliance and artificial intelligence. We want to help train people ahead of time,” explained NTUC Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) and BFSU Executive Secretary Patrick Tay.

While continuing to advance the interests of rank-and-file workers, BFSU will organise more roadshows, quarterly events with industry experts, and networking sessions this year to reach out to PMEs.

BFSU aims to double its current membership of 6,200 over the next four years.

BSFU's management partner and Maybank Singapore Human Capital Head Wong Keng Fye said: “This is a forward-looking step by them to proactively become even more inclusive and relevant to the workforce of tomorrow. We will continue to support and collaborate with the BFSU to promote a people-centric culture within the financial services industry.”

Strengthening Partnership with SFA

NTUC Secretary-General (SG) Ng Chee Meng welcomed Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) as the first NTUC U Associate partner to be affiliated to NTUC.

SFA joins the ranks of three other NTUC-affiliated associations – National Private Hire Vehicles Association, National Taxi Association and Tech Talent Assembly.

SG Ng said: “This transformation of SBOA into BFSU and affiliation of SFA to NTUC are really significant events. These are good examples to showcase the extensive Labour Movement network and help our workers mitigate the disruptions happening in the world.

“Workers and unions therefore, can put their best foot forward to help enable businesses and employers seize opportunities. We think these will be wonderful building blocks towards creating win-win situations in our society.”

The SFA, which currently has over 300 corporate members, will also be launching an individual membership scheme to take in individuals who are keen to be part of the fintech community.

With the affiliation, SFA individual members can look forward to NTUC benefits such as NTUC FairPrice rebates, NTUC Link Card, and access to NTUC Club facilities.

More Learning and Networking Opportunities

A memorandum of understanding between BFSU and SFA was also signed today to recognise SFA as a partner of the union’s finance industry professionals chapter.

The partnership will see more platforms for PMEs to build their network and connect with like-minded professionals within the industry.

Members under the BFSU-SFA chapter programme will receive discounts to seminars and training courses, as well as access to networking opportunities and selected events.

ASG Tay added: “The fintech space are not like your traditional banks with thousands of people. They are either startups or micro SMEs. Because they are small outfits, they may not have full Human Resource departments to look after their people. Through this partnership with SFA, we can take care of their employment and employability needs as well as their interests and welfare.”

In October 2017, SFA launched the FinTech Talent Programme in collaboration with NTUC to help industry professionals overcome technological disruption and reskill to take up higher-value job functions in fintech. Since then, the programme has trained close to 130 participants over five runs to equip them with the latest FinTech trends and technical know-how.

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