While Singapore aims to become one of the most advanced financial centres in Asia and create a friendly ecosystem for fintech startups, the island nation is facing a major human capital shortage.

According to a survey carried out by recruitment agency Micheal Page Singapore, around 94 percent of employers operating in the fintech sector claimed, that they struggled with the process of hiring the right candidates because of a shortage of talent. The survey also found that retention of employees is another challenge faced by fintech startups. as about 37 percent of fintech professionals in Singapore claimed to have changed jobs in the last 12 months.

In this regard, Nilay Khandelwal managing director, at Michael Page Singapore, was cited by the media as saying, “With the fintech landscape in Singapore booming, we face the talent challenge of a shortage in professional fintech talent, especially for roles in AI, machine learning, data science, and digital transformation,”

He also added that while businesses had to both attract and upskill key talent, Singapore had the responsibility to nurture and produce top quality industry-ready talent through education. This, he said was essential to ensure Singapore has the capabilities to continue its growth in the fintech industry.

Many of these employers surveyed by Micheal Page indicated that that the supply of talent will play a critical role in determining the future success of fintech in Singapore. The survey, which was conducted in June, saw participation of around 160 companies and professionals in Singapore across the technology and fintech sector.

The survey results come at a time when Singapore’s central bank – Monetary Authority of Singapore – is planning to issue the first digital banking licences. It also follows, Singapore’s recent payment services act, which was drafted after studying the related regulation in countries such as the UK, Canada, Hong Kong, and Australia. The act is set to come in to play from January 2020.