Singapore , 22 Jun 2011Bank of Singapore Centre at Market Street, Raffles Place officially opens

Bank of Singapore is the first Singapore-based Private Bank to operate from its own building, underscoring its commitment to grow its business globally.

Earning asset base delivers strong growth in the first five months of 2011, reaching US$36.3 billion.

Bank of Singapore Limited today officially opened the new Bank of Singapore Centre (“BoS Centre”) which is located in the heart of Raffles Place. Owned by OCBC Bank and previously known as 63 Market Street Building, the newly named Bank of Singapore Centre houses the new private banking client centre (“PB client centre”) as well as Bank of Singapore’s senior management and staff from the International, Singapore and South-east Asia desks. Over time, as more space becomes available, more teams will be moved into BoS Centre.

Mr Renato de Guzman, Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Singapore said, “Since we launched the Bank of Singapore entity in 2010, we have done exceptionally well. In our first year, our earning asset base (assets under management plus loans to clients) grew by 20% to US$32 billion as at end 2010. In the first five months of 2011, we have further increased our earning asset base by US$4.3 billion to US$36.3 billion, representing an annualised growth rate of more than 30%. We are anticipating further growth and the move to the new BoS Centre is a significant milestone as it marks our commitment to entrench our position as Asia’s leading Global Private Bank.”

He added, “Housing our employees and operations in one central location will help ensure smoother work flow, enabling us to be more efficient in serving our clients. At the same time, our customers will be able to enjoy a comfortable, quiet haven in the city should they choose to meet at our offices.”

Poised to tap on the Asian Growth Story

In the last few years, Asia has enjoyed the strongest economic growth in the global economy. As a result, high net worth individuals seeking investment opportunities are keen to tap into this growth region.

According to the latest 2011 Global Wealth report by Boston Consulting Group, wealth grew fastest in Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan), at a 17.1% rate in 2010. Coming a close second is the Middle East, where growth rate was somewhat above the global average, at 8.6%. Three of the six densest millionaire populations are also in the Middle East – in Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, while China has experienced the fastest growth in the number of super-wealthy households (defined as those with more than US$100 million in Assets under Management) with a jump of more than 30% to 393 in 2010.

For global high net worth individuals, Singapore is highly regarded because of its reputation as a strong global financial centre as well as its excellent infrastructure that includes a robust and efficient legal and judicial framework, and a well-regulated international financial sector.

As the only dedicated private bank based in Singapore, and being able to offer universal banking services and a wide range of retail and commercial banking services through OCBC Bank, Bank of Singapore is a natural choice for this group of global investors.

To sustain a double-digit growth in its earning asset base this year, Bank of Singapore will continue to build a sustainable talent pipeline by seeking quality hires and tapping on OCBC Bank’s existing talent pool through its Internal Job Placement programme. Bank of Singapore will also further strengthen its advisory platform particularly in Asian equities and continue to generate multiple revenue sources specifically in the area of Discretionary Portfolio Management service, trust and estate planning services, insurance, credit and mortgage financing to meet its growth target.

Expanding its Global Footprint

For 2011, Bank of Singapore will continue to focus on entrenching its footprint in Asia especially in its key markets of the Greater China region, the Philippines, Singapore, South-east Asia, and the India Sub-continent segment.

Given its strong association with Singapore, a global financial centre and a major private banking hub in Asia, Bank of Singapore is well positioned to leverage on the emerging wealth of Asia, especially in the region of China and the India Sub-continent segment.

As Asia’s economy continues to grow, more high net worth individuals would be keen to diversify
their investments by allocating more assets into this region. Bank of Singapore is in the sweet spot to help these global investors, as it offers a fully open product architecture platform which is supported by proprietary research and independent advice, with a specialization in the emerging markets. Bank of Singapore will continue to expand its services to support the European and Middle Eastern clients in their Asian diversification investment strategies.

New client acquisition, especially in markets such as China, Middle East and India Sub-continent, is on track.

China

For China, Bank of Singapore plans to grow its share of business in the region through branding, strategic recruitment and leveraging on OCBC China’s network of 14 main and sub-branches in eight key cities of Shanghai (HQ), Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Tianjin and Xiamen.

It is in the process of setting up a private banking operation within OCBC China , which is expected to be launched by the end of the third quarter this year, subject to regulatory approval. Establishing a dedicated private banking operation in China will allow Bank of Singapore to offer a wide range of private wealth products and services that will complement the current suite of consumer and corporate banking solutions currently offered by OCBC China. Bank of Singapore’s presence in China will allow it to be more effective in serving the rapidly growing pool of high net worth individuals who are mainly primary business owners.

Mr Renato de Guzman further shared, “We have seen an increasing number of affluent Chinese individuals looking for different investment opportunities outside of China as a way to diversify their risks and enhance returns. With Bank of Singapore’s local market knowledge and global private banking capabilities, we are equipped to help them in this area. As rising affluence in China is driven largely by entrepreneurs, we will be able to meet both their personal wealth management and business banking needs through our existing product and service platform and holistic range of retail and corporate banking solutions that OCBC Bank offers in the region.”

Global South Asia (India Sub-continent) Diaspora Business

According to Capgemini/Merrill Lynch Asia Pacific Weath report, there are 150,000 non-resident Indian millionaires worldwide. Collectively, they hold more than US$500 billion in wealth.

Bank of Singapore has one of the largest India Sub-continent team globally which has been in operations since year 2000. Given the size, importance and the geographic spread of this homogenous diaspora, Bank of Singapore has adopted a target segment approach by establishing offices in key cities where these India Sub-continent clients reside. Currently, the team has close to 100 staff operating from Dubai, Hong Kong, London (via OCBC London’s licence) and Singapore.

Like in the other markets, the team will continue to tap on the range of products and services currently offered by the Singapore and Hong Kong branches as well as corporate banking services offered by OCBC Bank to meet both the personal wealth planning and business banking needs of these India Sub-continent clients.

The Bank of Singapore India Sub-continent team is currently one of the few serving the India Sub-continent clients from across geographic locations as a single unified entity.

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Ann Chiu
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OCBC Bank
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Ow Yong Weng Leong
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OCBC Bank
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