In a further effort to help listed companies align their ESG-related disclosures in line with other international standards and best practices, and to build on ESG reporting landscape in Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) have identified 12 technical skills and competencies for professionals within the sustainable finance sector.
The Sustainable Finance Technical Skills and Competencies (SF TSCs) are part of the IBF Skills Framework for Financial Services which seeks to provide vital information to upskill and train current and incoming talent within banks, asset management and insurance sectors to strengthen their sustainability-related offerings and services.
Both institutions and professionals can use SF TSCs to help reduce the talent gap in the sector. Institutions can use the framework to design and develop training materials to address ongoing and projected skills demands. Individuals can use the framework as a guide to reskill, upskill or advance into sustainability roles within the financial sector.
The SF TSCs cover 4 thematic and 8 functional knowledge topics.
Thematic SF TSCs seek to equip an individual with a broad understanding of sustainability issues. These include an understanding of:
- Climate Change Management – synthesising climate change and policy developments to help shape organisational strategy, policies, products and services
- Natural Capital Management – developing market research on natural capital to contribute to organisational strategies and policy-making
- Carbon Markets and Decarbonisation Strategies Management – responding to current and projected carbon policies, market developments and decarbonisation strategies to assist clients in achieving their net-zero targets
- Taxonomies Application – shaping and analysing strategies, policies, practices and business activities to align with key domestic, regional and international green taxonomies
Functional SF TSCs seek to equip the professionals with particular skills to help perform optimally within the sustainability sector. These include attaining knowledge of:
- Impact indicators, Measurement and Reporting – analysing, monitoring and reporting of impact indicators to lead organisations and customers in setting impact missions and targets
- Non-Financial Industry Sustainability Developments – systhesising sustainability-related market opportunities and impact of non-financial industries on the financial sector
- Sustainable Insurance and Re-Insurance Solutions and Applications – developing new and/or current sustainable (re)insurance solutions to help clients improve their sustainability performance
- Sustainable Investment Management – leading and implementing strategies on sustainable investment concepts across the portfolio
- Sustainable Lending Instruments Structuring – developing incentives to encourage adoption of key sustainable lending instruments such as bonds, loans, project and trade financing, derivatives and blended finance
- Sustainability Reporting – developing sustainability related accounting and reporting policies to adhere to regulatory requirements and international best practices
- Sustainability Risk Management – managing risks to help minimise adverse impact on and by organisations
- Sustainability Stewardship Development – developing and implementing an organisation’s stewardship strategy to help achieve investment and sustainability goals
Apart from developing the SF TSCs, IBF will work closely with industry-experts to develop training programs aligned with the SF TSCs. The IBF-Standards Training Scheme will cover up to 90% of training expenses for participants who enroll in IBF-accredited training programmes.
The development of SF TSCs and subsequent training curricula for professionals should help boost Singapore’s ongoing larger role as a sustainable finance hub in the region.
The author would like to thank Nupur Agrawal for her support and assistance in preparing this article.