Singapore’s financial regulator will step up efforts to urge banks to place more citizens in senior management roles, according to its chief.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore confers with senior management at financial firms on the makeup of their workforces, Managing Director Ravi Menon wrote in a letter published Wednesday in the Straits Times. “We will intensify these engagements,” he said.

The MAS “closely monitors” the workforce profiles of financial institutions by citizens, permanent residents and foreigners, Menon said. “We want to see a strong Singaporean core complemented by high-quality and diverse foreign talent in every major FI,” he said.

Menon’s comments were in response to a call by former banker Raymond Koh for authorities to scrutinise the composition of senior management at banks to ensure there are more Singaporeans, rather than foreigners holding permanent residence.

Singapore’s government is trying to strike a balance between citizens and international talent in the financial hub, where home-grown banks including DBS Group Holdings Ltd. compete with global firms such as Standard Chartered Plc and Citigroup Inc.

Singaporeans make up 70% of senior management roles in retail banks’ local functions, the MAS estimates. Still, the proportion is about 43% across the entire sector, reflecting Singapore’s role as an international financial center, Menon said.

“As our financial sector attracts more regional and global HQ functions, it creates more good jobs and opportunities for Singaporeans,” said Menon. “But it also means a higher proportion of foreigners in senior management in these functions as FIs understandably draw from a global talent pool to fill these positions.”

Singaporeans make up 70% of overall workers in the financial industry, and permanent residents comprise 14%, according to MAS estimates. The regulator wants to see a higher local proportion in areas including technology and risk management, Menon said.