Singapore , 24 Apr 2012Bank of Singapore is the first Singapore-headquarted Private Bank that can train and assess its private bankers

Bank of Singapore’s private bankers will receive training and assessment via an FICS-accredited proprietary training programme that is benchmarked to industry best practices.

Bank of Singapore (“the Bank”) today announced that its proprietary training programme, “Programme for Wealth Management Professionals” (“Programme”), has received Financial Industry Competency Standards (“FICS”) accreditation by the Institute of Banking and Finance (“IBF”). The Bank was also appointed a FICS Accredited Financial Training and Assessment Service Provider by IBF, making it the first Singapore-headquartered private bank to offer its own proprietary training and assessment programme for private bankers. There are currently only three global private banks in Singapore that are able to do so.

The new Bank of Singapore Programme is a comprehensive programme designed and developed by Swiss Asia Banking School based on the Bank’s distinctive business model. The Programme curriculum is aligned with FICS requirements as well as the Client Advisor Competency Standards (“CACS”) that was introduced by IBF last year to raise the quality of private banking in Singapore.

The Programme aims to equip Bank of Singapore private bankers with the relevant skill sets and qualifications to uphold the highest standards in delivery of client-centric advice and consistent client experience. Besides developing the programme curriculum, Swiss Asia Banking School helps to secure the best trainers, and to administer the programme.

Mr Renato de Guzman, CEO of Bank of Singapore, observed that as financial markets become more volatile and regulators place greater emphasis on risk management, disclosures and controls, high net worth individuals look to private bankers with industry-established knowledge, skills and high ethical standards to help them find the right investment solutions.

He said, “Flying the Singapore flag, it is important for us to uphold good industry practices and enhance investor confidence. We have been proactively reviewing and strengthening our various frameworks, processes and training programmes to raise the professional competencies of our private bankers and to foster high market conduct standards. All these add to Singapore’s reputation as a premier global financial centre”.

“Attaining the FICS Accredited Provider status as well as the launch of our Programme for Wealth Management Professionals is positive recognition of the high training standards we have achieved. We remain committed to investing in our talents and working closely with industry partners and regulatory bodies to further enhance the quality of wealth management professionals in Singapore,” he added.

The capability to train as well as assess private bankers is especially important at this juncture, when Bank of Singapore’s staff strength has grown by 20% in 2011. The Bank now employs close to 850 staff worldwide, of which more than 250 are private bankers of various nationalities.

Ms Jean Lee, Global Head of Human Resource, Bank of Singapore shared, “A structured training programme will ensure that our bankers can offer a consistently high level of advisory expertise and professionalism to all our clients. The ability to offer quality service not only strengthens our position as Asia’s Global Private Bank but also sets us apart in a highly competitive environment, especially given the demand for experienced private bankers.”

To raise the overall standards of wealth management professionals in Singapore, the Private Banking Code of Conduct (“PB Code”) was introduced in April 2011. The PB Code seeks to promote good industry practices and contribute to the long-term sustainable growth of the private banking industry in Singapore. One of the key guidelines is the requirement of private banking professionals to pass a common competency assessment known as the Client Advisor Competency Standards (“CACS”) before they provide any financial advice.

Ms Ong Puay See, CEO of IBF said, “Bank of Singapore has committed to send more than 100 private bankers to be FICS-certified in the course of this year, and to support the Client Advisor Competency Standards (“CACS”) - the industry assessment for private bankers. This is a strong show of support and underscores the Bank’s determination to provide their staff with the highest level of technical competency and subject them to robust and independent assessments. IBF congratulates Bank of Singapore for upholding such high standards.”

The Programme was introduced in February 2012 and Bank of Singapore expects more than 50% of its current team of Singapore-based private bankers to be trained and assessed by end of the year.

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