19 January 2021

Singaporeans must do more to secure their Financial Fitness

The study reveals Singapore residents have a moderate financial fitness score of 67 over 100, which is similar to their Hong Kong counterparts1.

3 in 10 Singapore residents (33%) are considered “very fit” with a score of 80 or above, half of those surveyed are considered “moderate” with a score of 50 to 79, while 2 in 10 (18%) are “unfit” with a score below 50. HSBC FinFit Index financial fitness score shows a strong correlation to an individual’s level of satisfaction in relation to their quality of life, well-being, and retirement confidence.

Our survey reveals that respondents with a higher FinFit score tend to be more knowledgeable about financial products, do more research before making any investment or wealth commitment, and deploy more methods to educate their children about financial management. In particular, international-minded respondents2 tend to have a higher FinFit score of 72/100 compared to those that do not plan or have any intentions to invest or fund children’s education overseas, who achieved a FinFit score of 63/100. 54% of those with high FinFit score hold overseas investments, compared to 44% of those with moderate FinFit scores.

Interestingly, “Moderately fit” Singapore residents seem to be most stressed about their personal situation, expressing the highest number of financial concerns.

Mr Anurag Mathur, Head, Wealth and Personal Banking, HSBC Bank (Singapore) said: “COVID-19 has shown how unpredictable and fragile global economies can be. While Singapore has been fairly resilient, the HSBC FinFit study has shown that people here are starting to worry about job security and the implications of prolonged weakness in the economy. Financial fitness is a vital aspect of our broader personal well-being. It is even more important now for everyone to take charge of their financial well-being and take concrete steps to plan ahead and make their money work harder for them.”

“While being disciplined about their expenses and savings is a good base to start off, people in Singapore need to make a concerted effort to do more active financial planning as it will lift their overall FinFit score.”

Singaporeans need to do more active financial planning to improve their FinFit score
HSBC FinFit Index study shows that despite COVID-19, Singapore residents continue to be strong savers and discipline spenders. Of the four pillars of measurement which contribute to the overall HSBC FinFit Index, Singapore residents performed well in having sound financial knowledge (69%), good financial habits (70%) and strong understanding on Financial Security & Safety (73%). However, Singapore residents only achieved a score of 59% when it comes to financial planning. Despite 1 in 2 (58%) not being confident of having sufficient savings for retirement, only 48% have an investment plan.

Singapore residents key concerned areas are:
     1. Having sufficient savings to fund their retirement based on their current lifestyle (68%)
     2. Coping with unexpected expenses (70%)
     3. Pay cut / income reduction (72%)

Mr Mathur added: “When it comes to managing your money, it is important to note that active financial planning can help you make the most of your assets and generate potentially better long-term returns than keeping your cash in the bank. A good starting point for novice investors would be to leverage the financial planning applications of different banks, including HSBC FinConnect, to obtain a clear view of your total assets and liabilities in Singapore. They should also look to work with a trusted financial advisor to map out a holistic plan that can meet their long-term financial goals.”

Conducted in the second half of 2020, HSBC FinFit Index took the views of more than 1,200 respondents residing in Singapore including employment pass holders. It aims to assess the current status of Singapore residents on personal finances management. A similar study was conducted in Hong Kong in the first half of 2020.

Those interested to get their FinFit score as well as undergo a FinFit coaching session can visit HSBC FinFit for more information.

Notes for editors

Eight ways to improve your financial fitness and well-being:
1) Establish a regular saving routine;
2) Keep enough cash to cover six months of basic living expenses;
3) Set a budget for spending;
4) Create passive income to improve your sense of financial security;
5) Understand and deploy investment products to build your wealth;
6) Invest into insurance solutions that can protect your wealth and income streams;
7) Review your financial plans, rebalance your portfolios and seek professional advice regularly;
8) Prepare and monitor your retirement plans.

About HSBC FinConnect
HSBC FinConnect is a new feature within the HSBC Singapore mobile app that enables customers to consolidate their financial information across seven participating banks and MyInfo into one single view. HSBC FinConnect leverages the newly launched Singapore Financial Data Exchange (SGFinDex), which links various data sources from participating banks and MyInfo to financial planning tools and applications.

Upon providing consent, HSBC customers will be able to retrieve information on their deposit accounts, credit cards, loans including home mortgage, investments in unit trusts with other participating banks as well as CPF account balances and IRAS tax-related information via HSBC FinConnect.

Once customers use HSBC FinConnect to consolidate their financial information, they can make an appointment for a virtual or in-person one-on-one FinFit Coaching session. With the consolidated financial information, a HSBC banker will address their financial goal or retirement concerns as well as identify investment opportunities that will help them build a more diversified portfolio that is personalised to their needs.

This document is for information only and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment. The specific investment objectives, personal situation and particular needs of any person have not been taken in consideration. You should therefore not rely on it as investment advice. You may wish to seek advice from a financial consultant before making a commitment to purchase any investment product. In the event that you choose not to seek advice from a financial consultant, you should consider whether the investment product in question is suitable for you.

Media enquiries to:

Betty Fong, HSBC Singapore | +65 6658 4103 | betty.c.y.fong@hsbc.com.sg

About HSBC Singapore
HSBC Group’s history in Singapore dates back to 1877 when its founding member, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, opened its first branch on the island. A qualifying full bank, HSBC in Singapore offers a comprehensive range of banking and financial services including retail banking and wealth management; commercial, investment and private banking; insurance; forfaiting and trustee services; securities and capital markets services. One of the earliest banks to establish in Singapore, HSBC today is a prominent player in Singapore's financial services sector serving the banking needs of multi-national corporations, home-grown businesses, private banking clients, institutional and retail customers. In May 2016, HSBC locally incorporated its retail banking and wealth management business in Singapore and established, HSBC Bank (Singapore) Limited. HSBC Singapore has a retail network of 10 dedicated HSBC Premier Centres and 2 HSBC Jade Centres including a Premier International Centre as well as many locations across the island providing self-service terminals.

About The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is the founding member of the HSBC Group. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 64 countries and territories in its geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of $2,956 billion at 30 September 2020, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

1 https://www.about.hsbc.com.hk/-/media/hong-kong/en/news-and-media/200623-hsbc-finfit-study-underlines-the-need-to-manage-savings-for-greater-eng.pdf

2 Individuals with children studying abroad / plan to send children for overseas study OR have overseas properties OR holding financial products overseas