By Saurabh Chaturvedi
SINGAPORE--Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. (O39.SG) Monday said it has started private banking operations in Indonesia, in the latest move by Singapore's second-biggest bank by assets to expand its wealth management business.
OCBC said in a statement that its 85%-owned unit PT Bank OCBC NISP Tbk has received regulatory approval to begin private banking division.
The move is aimed at increasing OCBC's share of the wealth-management business, particularly to tap into the country's wealthy families and entrepreneurs. The move comes as low interest rates and subdued loan demand have hurt the bank's income. For instance, OCBC's 13.7% growth in first-quarter net profit was driven partly by an increase in wealth-management income.
The latest announcement follows its recent deal to buy National Australia Bank's (>> National Australia Bank Ltd.) private-wealth business in Singapore and Hong Kong. Last year, OCBC's private-banking unit bought Barclays PLC's wealth- and investment-management business in Singapore and Hong Kong.
OCBC's CEO Samuel Tsien said the latest announcement is an "important milestone" in the expansion of OCBC's wealth management franchise.
"This new business enables us to broaden our client coverage of high net worth individuals."
Write to Saurabh Chaturvedi at [email protected]