The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the nation’s central bank and financial regulator, has introduced a $125 million support package, in order to support local financial service providers and Fintech companies, following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and resulting economic instability.
The MAS noted that $90 million of the package will be directed toward assisting banks and Fintech firms with training programs and hiring new staff members.
Companies based in Singapore will be given $2,000 each month for each local fresh graduate or worker that they employ or place in talent development programs. This will effectively double the present salary support offered by the nation’s authorities.
Firms will also have access to a new Training Allowance Grant (TAG), which is being offered to Singapore’s citizens and permanent residents (PRs).
The TAG aims to complement the Jobs Support Scheme, which was introduced via the Resilience and Solidarity Budgets. It offers allowances for enrolling and completing training courses that are accredited by Singapore’s Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF).
Local residents will be given $10 per hour if they cover the costs for their own training. Banks and Fintech companies will get $15 per hour if they sponsor training for their employees.
Subsidies for various training courses will be increased to 90%, which is up significantly from the previous 50-70%.
The MAS confirmed that over 400 IBF-accredited courses are now being offered via e-learning portals, in order to meet training requirements under the newly introduced safe distancing measures.
As noted in the announcement, $35 million in funding will be directed toward assisting smaller companies with integrating various digital solutions and enhancing their operational resilience via a Digital Acceleration Grant (DAG).
Local financial institutions and Fintech firms with less than 200 staff members will be able to access this grant to cover their operational costs.
Program participants have the option of taking part in the Institution Project track or the Industry Pilot track.
Those who take part in the Institution Project track will get 80% of qualifying expenses up to a maximum of $120,000 per company (from the MAS).
The Industry Pilot track will support initiatives between three or more local companies. It will help them develop customized digital platforms.
MAS said it would finance 80% of qualifying expenses (up to $100,000 for each participating firm).
Singapore-based Fintech companies will get six months of free access to the API Exchange (APIX), a digital global marketplace and sandbox testing environment where they can work cooperatively and test various software solutions.