Awards for Distinction 2014 – Philippines


AFD2014_Best Private Bank - Philippines

Bank of Singapore

Renato de Guzman

Renato de Guzman
Chief Executive Officer
Bank of Singapore

Competition amongst private banks to gain wallet share in the Philippines continues to escalate, spurred by the country’s formidable GDP growth rate of 6.2%, and the resulting consistent and exponential expansion of the nation’s high net worth individual (HNWI) population. In keeping with a strong regional bias for direct equity investing, the PSEi index has outperformed regional peers, climbing 21% in 2014. Regardless of the direction equity markets take in 2015, an estimated 37,000 HNWIs and counting are likely to keep private banks focussed on the Philippines for some time to come.

Amongst these banks, Bank of Singapore has led the pack on several fronts. Its team of 20 private bankers is one of the most experienced in the market. Coupled with real-time access to Asian financial hubs, Singapore and Hong Kong, where the bank has booking centres, ‎a versatile product platform that encompasses global investment and wealth planning needs and, perhaps, most importantly, a stellar credit rating, the bank has proven itself to be a worthy winner of the award.

‎Although assets under management (AUM) is not the sole, nor the most important, criterion for judging the award, a base of several billion dollars, growing at a 4% CAGR over the last three years, helps establish the bank as a frontrunner amongst its peers. OCBC’s acquisition of Wing Hang Bank in 2014 will bolster the regional connectivity that Bank of Singapore’s clients clearly value, offering Filipino HNWIs the peace of mind that their needs will be attended by the various banking services (corporate, investment, and private) in geographies where the, now combined, institutions have a presence.

The bank’s network amongst Filipino ‎HNWIs owes a lot to its CEO, Renato de Guzman, a much-respected member of the community. De Guzman’s pedigree also helps to explain Bank of Singapore’s commitment to the region. After the 33-year banking veteran established ING’s Philippines banking franchise in 1990, he oversaw its operations until 2000 before also building its Asia private banking business – which was acquired by OCBC in 2010. Thus, whilst many of his peers were focussed on the higher-profile markets of Hong Kong and Singapore or the attractions of China and India, de Guzman built a reputation for being a pioneer in the Philippines.

This unparalleled access to the Philippines’ wealthiest, coupled with an impressively growing AUM and a rock-solid balance sheet, makes Bank of Singapore the clear winner of the award for Best Private Bank – Philippines in 2014.