Bank of Singapore credits its reputation as a safe and dependable financial institution for its high growth rate
Bank of Singapore may be just four years old but its relative youth belies its success. Despite being the newest kid on the block, the bank has been recording healthy growth. As at June 30, 2014, its assets stood at US$51 billion, up 14 per cent year on year and more than double the US$22 billion assets held when operations began in January 2010.
A study by the Boston Consulting Group found that Bank of Singapore had the highest growth rate for net new assets of any private bank in 2012, growing by 23.4 per cent - more than double the industry average.
Chief executive of its Hong Kong branch, Sermon Kwan, says the Bank’s positive growth is testimony to the opportunities that abound for a private bank that blends the best of three factors. Firstly, its strong parentage in OCBC Bank, which possesses a solid financial position; secondly, the fact that the bank is headquartered in Singapore, which has AAA credit rating and has emerged as a global hub for the private banking business; and thirdly, Bank of Singapore’s international private banking competencies, driven by a strong research based and open-architecture product platform.
“Our business model as Asia’s global private bank offers clients a holistic value proposition: we marry our global expertise with Asian values and service philosophy. Our clients like that we have a strong product and advisory capability, stable management team, and strong credentials,” he says.
Bank of Singapore’s Aa1 rating by Moody’s has proven to be a strong attraction to high net worth individuals looking to diversify their wealth into a Singapore-based bank for additional security. Singapore has demonstrated resilience during severe macroeconomic environments as seen during the Asian crisis, the European sovereign debt crisis, and the subprime crisis in the US.
As the dedicated private banking arm of OCBC Bank, Bank of Singapore is nimble and reacts faster to market changes. Building on an openarchitecture platform that grew out of its origins in ING Asia Private Bank, Bank of Singapore has the added edge of being able to source and deliver the best and most suitable solutions to its clients.
Research forms the cornerstone of the bank’s abilities to recommend investment strategies, products and services. Clients are offered access to the bank’s proprietary research covering macroeconomics, global fixed income, global equities, foreign exchange and derivatives, as well as estate planning services and insurance solutions. A team of 160 research and investment specialists provides a wide spectrum of products, investment ideas and services to suit the needs of different clients and meet their objectives to preserve, grow and transmit their wealth to future generations.
With its strong Asian heritage, Bank of Singapore is one step ahead of its local and international peers. Thanks to its understanding of the region’s cultures and complexities, it is able to support clients’ needs with its global network and offerings.
In Hong Kong, the bank focuses on serving clients from the Greater China region, covering Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. It has also established a very successful business to serve the needs of non-resident Indians who have made Hong Kong their home.
With OCBC’S recent acquisition of Wing Hang Bank, which has 95 branches in Hong Kong, Macau and China, there is good growth potential for Bank of Singapore in the Greater China region. Synergies within the entire OCBC Group allow Bank of Singapore to connect its clients to greater business opportunities in these markets. At the same time, clients will be supported by a much stronger financial services group, with a broader platform of financial services and access to a larger banking network.
As a group, OCBC and its affiliates are well-positioned to meet the corporate needs of high net worth individuals in Greater China, offering corporate banking services, commercial property financing and trade finance facilities, while Bank of Singapore offers private banking services. In fact, Bank of Singapore clients enjoy a full suite of services that cater to both their business and personal wealth needs, making the bank a one-stop shop for clients as their businesses expand.
With Greater China identified as a strong high-growth region, the OCBC Group is committed to investing and growing its business in the region. Bank of Singapore will continue to play an integral role in this blueprint.
Having made its mark internationally within a short period of time, Bank of Singapore continues on a path of healthy growth and is facing the future with confidence.
Sermon Kwan, chief executive, Hong Kong branch, Bank of Singapore