(earlier known as Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited)
Headquartered in: Singapore
Did you know?
OCBC Bank launched its first voice-powered conversational banking, where the bank’s retail customers can ask Siri to check their credit card overview and bank balances and make e-payments. Simply download the latest version of the bank’s mobile app and tell Siri what to do. You can, then, validate the transaction with either your fingerprint or facial recognition. To enjoy this feature, you must have an iPhone with at least the iOS 11 software. Moreover, if you download the bank’s Pay Anyone app, you can ask Siri to transfer cash to your friends and family.
OCBC Bank, headquartered in Singapore, was first established in 1932 with the consolidation of 3 local banks. In terms of assets, OCBC Bank is the second largest financial group in Southeast Asia. Moody’s has ranked this bank as Aa1, one of the highest ratings.
OCBC offers an array of services under specialist banking, commercial banking, and wealth management, ranging from corporate, consumer, private, and investment banking to insurance, treasury, stockbroking, and asset management.
The private banking services of this bank are offered by its subsidiary Bank of Singapore, which operates on a unique product platform to provide the best products to its customers. OCBC also has an insurance subsidiary, Great Eastern Holdings, which is the oldest life insurance company in Malaysia and Singapore. Lion Global Investors, the bank’s asset management subsidiary, is among the largest asset management companies in Southeast Asia.
In terms of market capitalisation, OCBC Bank is listed on the SGX-ST as one of the largest listed companies in Singapore. Currently, the bank has over 29,000 employees.
During the Great Depression, OCBC Bank was born through the merging of 3 banks - the Chinese Commercial Bank Limited, the Ho Hong Bank Limited, and the Oversea-Chinese Bank Limited. This is when the founders provided its customers with financial solutions for their personal as well as business needs.
In 1950, Dato Lee Kong Chian, Tan Sri Tan Chin Tuan, and Mr. Lee Choon Seng made OCBC Bank one of the largest banks in Malaysia and Singapore. This bank also became the pioneers of the Asian dollar market around the 1960s.
In 2001, OCBC Bank acquired Keppel Capital Holdings Ltd along with its subsidiaries and by 2002, both the banks were fully operational and legally united. The bank increased their stakes in Great Eastern Holdings from 48.8% to 81.1%, expanding the wealth management business. In 2006, the stakes, further, increased to 86.9% and 87.1% in 2008.
By 2016, OCBC Bank merged their 2 subsidiaries in Greater China, OCBC China and Wing Hang China, to create OCBC Wing Hang China. The registered capital of this wholly-owned subsidiary in Hong Kong is RMB 5 billion. The main office of this subsidiary is in OCBC Tower, located at Yuanshen Road in the Pudong district of Shanghai.
Other than Singapore, OCBC is also present in Malaysia, Greater China, and Indonesia. The bank has 590 branches and offices in 18 regions and territories. These include more than 320 branches in Indonesia under Bank OCBC NISP and over 100 branches in Hong Kong, Macao, and China under OCBC Wing Hang.
OCBC opened its first office in Malaysia in 1994 and has become one of the largest foreign banks for non-bank loans and total assets. The bank’s Islamic banking division, OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad, was the first Singapore based Islamic Bank founded in Malaysia in 2008.
In 2004, OCBC bought a 22.5% stake in PT Bank NISP TBK in Indonesia. With this transaction, OCBC Bank and Bank NISP became associate banks. In 2008, Bank NISP was retitled Bank OCBC NISP to showcase their close ties and trust and support for each other. By this time, OCBC NISP expanded its network to more than 330 branches.
In 1925, OCBC founded its first office in Xiamen in Greater China and has been in operation for over 90 years. In July 2014, OCBC Bank acquired Wing Hang Bank in Hong Kong and was renamed as OCBC Wing Hang in Macau and Hong Kong. The bank was the first foreign bank to make an investment in Bank of Ningbo (BON). OCBC Bank bought 12.2% shares in BON in January 2006, which increased to 20% by September 2014.
Here is the annual report of OCBC Bank in Singapore in 2017:
The Bank OCBC NISP introduced the Financial Education and Literacy Programme, which aimed at providing financial freedom to communities in Indonesia. Under this initiative, the bank created ‘Smart Future’, a board game shared with senior students in high schools to promote the knowledge of money management from an early age.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, OCBC Bank hosted several activities around the theme of ‘Inspiring Women, Empowering Women’ all through March 2017. In one such activity, the bank’s employees from Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia sent stories about women who inspired them. Around 30 women, ranging between politicians and mothers, were mentioned in the stories and featured in a mural collage. This collage was displayed at the OCBC Centre foyer in Singapore in March 2017.
OCBC Bank’s Consumer Financial Services (CFS) decided to take the initiative of eliminating single-use plastic materials. This programme was introduced in September 2017 and was inspired by the clean-up event that took place at the Pasir Ris beach in Singapore, where 1.5 tonnes of trash and plastic waste were collected in 2 hours.
The first step was to do away with the use of plastic water bottles at the offices in Singapore. OCBC Bank, currently, serves water in biodegradable cups to their visitors and customers. This initiative has helped in saving around 70,000 plastic bottles and is predicted to save approximately 5,000 kg of plastic waste per year.
The OCBC Group continues to minimise the carbon footprint and has 7 buildings in Singapore, which has received the Green Mark status by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). One of the buildings is the OCBC Centre, which was completed in 1976. In 2011, the building was retrofitted which reduced the total consumption of electricity by around 2.7 million kWh and water by 17,000m3.
OCBC Bank has become the first bank in Southeast Asia to launch an automated, algorithm-based investment service called RoboInvest. This service promises to offer simplified wealth management solutions and advisories to young, tech-savvy investors who’re afraid to embrace digital technologies.
In order to use this service, one must make an initial investment of at least S$3,500. The bank has said that investors will be able to choose from 28 diverse portfolios of exchange-traded funds, and equities based on different themes. The portfolios cover six global markets.
This intelligent investment advisor can track investments and portfolios on a regular basis and even rebalance them periodically if it suspects market movements and headwinds that might affect the performance of the portfolio. It can then trigger email alerts to inform customers and get their approval for portfolio rebalancing. Customers will no longer need to monitor their investment baskets on a regular basis. RoboInvest will do it for them.
Customers can also monitor the performance of their portfolio any time my accessing their dashboards. Portfolios can also be manually rebalanced by them through additions and withdrawals.
A successful pilot was run by the bank from March 2017 to December 2017 before the bank decided to roll out this service. The bank claims that with customer insights and learnings from the pilot run, it has managed to enhance the quality of end-to-end customer experience significantly.
This AI has been jointly developed by OCBC Bank and WeInvest, a Singapore-based Fintech start-up.
31 August 2018
Buoyed by significant growth in net income, OCBC has managed to post a 16% increase in its second-quarter net profit, beating market estimates. This comes as a relief for the market as DBS, the largest lender in the country had failed to beat estimates and cheer up the market. OCBC joins UOB, the remaining member of the “Big Three” club in doing so.
The results showed that the net profit grew from S$1.04 billion to S$1.21 billion on a year-on-year basis. Growth in loan volume and higher net interest margin are believed to be the major contributors. According to a Bloomberg poll, analysts were expecting OCBC’s net profit to be somewhere around S$1.11 billion for the second quarter of 2018.
The net interest margin of the bank during the period came in at 1.67%, 2 basis points higher than Q2 2017. The net interest income, helped by a higher net interest margin, rose to S$1.45 billion, an increase of 8% on the number posted in Q2 2017.
OCBC CEO Samuel Tsien also said that despite a number of local and global economic headwinds, the bank has managed to improve its net interest income based on better asset yields and loan growth in Singapore and Malaysia.
The bank has informed that its net earnings for the first half of the year stood at S$2.32 billion, 22% higher than the number seen in the corresponding period of last year.
16 August 2018
OCBC Bank and StarHub announced the country’s first loyalty programme called the ‘Coalition Loyalty Programme’, which will allow customers to exchange, redeem or consolidate loyalty reward points and air miles across industries. This programme is said to be the next step of the ‘We Economy’ initiative and aims to add key players from 10 industries – telecommunications, financial services, retail, travel, insurance, food and beverage, hospitality, petrol, transport, and grocery. The reward points or air miles earned from these industries can be converted and utilised with ease through an online tracking dashboard. The Coalition Loyalty Programme aims to reduce the wastage of these reward points.
7 June 2018
OCBC Bank launches the first instant account-opening service for all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents of Singapore. You can open a new 360 Account even if you are not an existing customer of the bank. OCBC will take your information from MyInfo and e-KYC, without the need to visit the bank branch or submit documents. The verification and authentication takes place in real time and once the application is approved, you will receive the account number within seconds. The bank’s Head of E-Business Singapore, Mr. Aditya Gupta said that this initiative of making the application process hassle-free will encourage people to strengthen their banking relationship with OCBC Bank.
5 June 2018
The OCBC Future Smart Programme, a three-year programme, will make it possible for a cheque processing executive to become a data scientist in just 3 years. The bank invested S$20 million to develop the employees’ digital skills by adopting a structured approach with 4 qualification levels and a 7-pillar curriculum. Lim Chee Hau worked as a cheque processing executive for 5 years. Through this programme, he became a part of OCBC Bank’s big data department in 3 years, highlighting various trends in payment-related data and making recommendations for the next big innovation. The Future Smart Programme was launched by Mr. Samuel Tsien, Mr. Jason Ho, and Ms. Yap Aye Wee on 7 May 2018.
8 May 2018
Singapore’s largest cycling fiesta, OCBC Cycle 2018 witnessed one out of five participants ride on rent-free Mobikes. A total of 6,500 people participated at The Straits Time Ride and The Sportive Ride, starting the ride from Nicoll Highway to the National Stadium. Under this initiative, OCBC Bank also introduced the OCBC Cycle Corporate Chase, where 23 teams from 18 companies competed for the cash prize of S$400 and the Champion’s Jersey. The Singapore Civil Defence Force Team B won the race with Advanced Micro Devices and GlaxoSmithKline finishing in the second and third place, respectively.
6 May 2018