Singapore, 22 Nov 2016

Bank of Singapore receives regulatory approval to open a branch in Dubai International Financial Centre

Licence allows Bank of Singapore to extend private banking services to its clients in the region. Move further strengthens DIFC’s position as growing global financial gateway, enabling business to flow across the South-South corridor.

Bank of Singapore today announced that it has been granted a Category 4 licence to operate a branch in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). This allows Bank of Singapore to offer a comprehensive range of customised private banking solutions, including investments, credit and wealth planning advisory services, to its ultra-high and high net worth clients.

The official opening of the branch is scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2017.

Approval to operate a branch in Dubai comes at an opportune time as private wealth in the Middle East and Africa is projected to rise at a compounded annual rate of 8.2%, to reach a record high US$11.8 trillion by 20201 - 1.4 times higher than the global average.

Bank of Singapore has anchored its presence in Dubai since 1996 through its representative office based outside of the DIFC. Over the past three years (2014 – 2016), Bank of Singapore has registered stellar growth in the Middle East region – Assets under Management has doubled and net new money has grown by almost five times. The move to DIFC signifies a new commitment by Bank of Singapore to further deepen its presence in this region.

Bank of Singapore Chief Executive Officer, Mr Bahren Shaari said: “The Middle East, specifically the United Arab Emirates, has always been an integral part of our business. With the establishment of a branch in the DIFC, Bank of Singapore is committed to scaling up our research and advisory capabilities, to better serve high net worth individuals in this region.

“Dubai’s position in the Middle East is similar to Singapore’s role in Asia, both serve as strategic economic hubs, supporting wealth growth and investments for individuals and businesses. We are confident of replicating our successful Singapore business model in Dubai to support the growing affluence and economic activities in this region.”

The move further strengthens DIFC’s aim to grow three-fold by 2024, through the integration of a three pronged strategy that includes deepening core client synergies, building global relevance in key sectors and facilitating trade and investment flows across the South-South corridor. This is supported through the continuous enhancement of the Centre’s physical and regulatory infrastructure.

Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, added: “We welcome the Bank of Singapore to DIFC, recognition of both the growing demand for financial services in the region and the fact that DIFC, as the Middle East, Africa and South Asian’s leading international financial centre, offers a best practice legal, regulatory and infrastructure platform for international bank expansion. Singapore and Dubai share an affinity: both are modest in geographic size yet highly developed, cosmopolitan and incredibly dynamic. As the cities are becoming twin hubs for their respective regions, the arrival of Bank of Singapore in DIFC signifies a move to ever closer cooperation and a mutual desire to strengthen trade along the South- South corridor.”

As the largest, best regulated, most diverse and sophisticated financial services hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, DIFC’s enabling ecosystem offers an ideal base from which businesses can grow and expand their operations.

Earlier in August 2016, it was ranked as the top financial centre in the region in the Global Financial Centres Index; 18th in the world ahead of the likes of Luxembourg, Geneva and Shanghai. As a federal financial free zone in Dubai, it is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

Bank of Singapore’s representative office will continue to operate to facilitate existing clients’ access to the Bank of Singapore platform, after the setting up of the DIFC branch.

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