DBS to invest $20m to transform its 10k local staff

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Bank announces plan to skill staff members in emerging technologies

DBS Bank announced yesterday it is investing $20 million over the next five years in a broad-based programme to skill its 10,000 Singapore-based employees in digital banking and emerging technologies.

Singapore's biggest bank said the move supports Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's call at Sunday's National Day Rally to do more to make Singapore a Smart Nation.

DBS said its programme supports the Monetary Authority of Singapore's vision to create a Smart Financial Centre where technology is used pervasively in the financial industry to increase efficiency, create opportunities, better manage risks and improve lives.

The programme is designed to encourage large-scale participation and digital adoption by all bank staff members, and comprises several aspects:

  • ­Artificial intelligence-powered e-learning, which can be accessed 24/7
  • Experiential learning, such as intrapreneur programmes and hackathons
  • Grants and scholarships
  • Innovative learning spaces
"We are committed to helping our people adapt and embrace digital transformation..."DBS' group head of human resources Lee Yan Hong

For artificial intelligence-powered e-learning for example, DBS has launched a cloud-based learning management system called DBS Horizon.

It uses artificial intelligence to make personalised course recommendations and help staff members collaborate, create communities of interest and engage in mobile education.

DBS employees are given the opportunity to go on paid sabbaticals to work on prototypes and start their own businesses.

The bank also runs accelerator programmes that provide mentorship and funding to help these intrapreneurs grow their concepts into prototypes.

In addition, more than 2,000 employees have participated in human-centred design workshops and hackathons, and conducted more than 1,000 experiments since 2015.

DBS' group head of human resources Lee Yan Hong said: "As the financial sector evolves, the profile of jobs will change, and we are committed to helping our people adapt and embrace digital transformation through innovative and immersive continuous learning programmes."

The bank also offers scholarships to employees to further their skills in emerging technologies such as data and analytics.

Similar moves are underway at the other local banks.

OCBC Bank said it has invested in areas that cover digital and fintech learning. Last year for example, it launched the Life Refresh@OCBC to equip employees over-50 with such skills.

UOB held a 2020 Ideas Contest last year to encourage staff members to submit innovative ideas on how it can harness technology to provide a better customer experience.

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