As a financial centre, Singapore is at a crossroads. While the city state which has become a sophisticated offshore banking centre, it has yet to achieve the international status as envisaged in the l0-Year Plan. Growth in this sector has reduced from 10.5 per cent in 1984 to just 3.5 per cent in 1986. Apart from having to monitor competition from neighbouring established centres like Japan and Hong Kong, Singapore' s leading role in the financial markets of South East Asia is being challenged by newly developing centres, for example Taiwan and South Korea, hoping to have a share of the business.
The primary objective of this research report is to review Singapore's present position as a financial centre, and the challenges and implications that this sector will have to race in view of the recent developments and activities of the other regional centres in Asia. Recent international developments and financial technological issues are also reviewed to determine the strategies Singapore can adopt to improve the performance and productivity of the banking and financial services sector.
A literature review is also included in this report to illustrate the contrasting features and basis on which a financial centre is formed. The review is also intended to provide a framework that can suggest the best possible directions a newly developing financial centre can adopt for future growth.
Another purpose of this research report is to put the current issues in the arena of international, banking and financial services into perspective. With this focus, it is hoped that financial institutions and regulators can develop successful strategies for provision of banking and financial services in 1990s and beyond.
Finally, the main purpose of conducting a comparative study of international financial centre developments is to shed light on the prerequisites and conditions for the successful establishment of an international financial centre in the interest of newly developing financial centres wishing to launch its services and presence in the international environment, or those intending to set up financial centres as part of economic development. An analysis is therefore included in this study to provide general guidelines for the successful establishment of an international financial centre.