Awards for Distinction 2015 – Best Private Bank – Philippines International


Bank of Singapore

Bahren Shaari, Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Singapore

Bahren Shaari, Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Singapore

Bank of Singapore has gone from strength to strength since it leapt onto the regional private banking stage in recent years, fully grasping opportunities presented by one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, the Philippines.

The Southeast Asian nation grew 6% in the third quarter of the year, the third fastest growing economy in the region behind only China’s 6.9% and Vietnam’s 6.8%. It also saw household consumption grow by 6.4% in Q3 2015, while capital formation rose to 8.9%. reflecting strong public and private sector investments.

Tapping valuable synergy within the OCBC Group, Bank of Singapore has taken this bull by its horns and provided its private wealth clients in the Philippines greater access across geographies, segments and products as an international wealth manager.

This includes matching “under-served” wealthy business owners in Asia with a large SME coverage in the four core markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Greater China. It has also continued to match its discerning clientele with a wide ranging suite of personal and commercial services and products through its parent bank, OCBC Bank which has a regional network coverage of over 620 branches and offices – including funds, loans and mutual business interests. Certainly, such connectivity has been boosted by OCBC Bank’s acquisition of Hong Kong’s Wing Hang Bank in 2014.

Consequently, the Singapore private bank has significantly expanded its assets under management over the past 12 months in the Philippines in 2015, while keeping to a relatively lean structure.

Where the Philippines is concerned, the nation is certainly pushing ahead with growth plans; for one, it is showing keen interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement as a sign of “commitment” to pursuing economic reform measures. It also hosted the prestigious Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference this year, and no doubt intends – like Bank of Singapore – to be a bigger player on the world stage in the years ahead.

The TPP, currently comprising 12 countries, is expected to generate an additional US$225 billion to the world economy by 2025; it is a landmark agreement that promotes well-rounded growth by marrying elements like tariff elimination or reduction with high governance standards and environmental protection.

Against such stellar backdrop, Bank of Singapore has demonstrated verve and persistence to deservedly emerge among strong competition to win – for the second year running – 2015’s Best Private Bank – Philippines International award.