BEST PRIVATE BANK – SINGAPORE
BANK OF SINGAPORE
In the past two years, Bank of Singapore’s development has taken on a more strategic hue. Many will point to the Barclays acquisition in 2016 as the pivotal moment for the private bank, insofar as the deal propelled Bank of Singapore into the upper echelons of the regional league table (although it should be noted that Bank of Singapore was growing at a healthy clip before the deal). But it was in 2017, arguably, that Bank of Singapore truly affirmed its credentials as “Asia’s global private bank” on account of a series of astute strategic initiatives and quality growth across key financial metrics.
Buoyant markets may have provided sufficient fuel for the industry to post strong top and bottom-line and client asset growth in 2017, but Bank of Singapore once again stood out for the quality of its business performance. Indeed, in a market that remains brokerage-heavy, Bank of Singapore, while offering a full range of investment products and services, boasts a market-leading discretionary portfolio management proposition that is backed by a top-tier CIO office and continues to best its Singapore-peers by penetration rate and returns across all portfolios.
Its funds business also fired on all cylinders in 2017, partnering with leading providers to deliver solutions across all asset classes, including a unique multi-factor strategy that includes smart beta ETFs and the blockbuster distribution of senior loan fund earlier in the year.
On the strategic front, Bank of Singapore signed an agreement with Vontobel, a leading wealth manager in Europe, while its decision to open a branch in Dubai International Financial Centre last February has only strengthened the bank’s already robust NRI proposition. And though early days, the private bank is ramping up its Greater China presence with a raft of hires and deepening its penetration of UHNWIs, recording strong NNA growth from new ultra clients in 2017.
Credit must also go to Bank of Singapore for enhancing its training and development programme, arguably making greater strides than any other private bank in 2017 to increase front-to-back professional standards. The wealth manager celebrated its first batch of Advanced Diploma in Private Banking graduates and rolled out an Advanced Certificate in Private Banking for marketing associates and support functions, among other initiatives.
Such is the intensity of competition in Singapore – not to mention Asia major – that private banks will continue to have their strategic acumen tested. In 2017, Bank of Singapore rose to the challenge, proving its credentials as ‘Asia’s global private bank’ and once more earning itself the title of Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank – Singapore.
“Bank of Singapore has built a reputation as Asia’s global private bank known for providing best-in-class advice and solutions through partnerships with leading global partners. We are supported by one of Asia’s largest research teams, with key strengths in emerging markets. As a result, we are able to deliver superior investment returns and corresponding growth for our clients.
Our clients value our unique position – a pure-play private bank that is nimble and responsive to today’s fast-paced environment, and at the same time, able to give them access to services beyond private banking services that a universal bank is able to offer. Through our parent company, OCBC Bank, we are able to extend to them a broad array of commercial banking capabilities across OCBC Bank’s regional and international network.”
The ‘Excellence’ award is handed out on merit alone. It recognises an institution with private banking facilities that has demonstrated industry-leading and quality business growth, a strong sense of value proposition, fiduciary responsibility and a willingness to innovate.