Global banking provider since 1932
We first established our presence in China in 1925 with the opening of a branch in Xiamen and since then, have been operating without interruption for more than 90 years.
Solution-driven since the beginning
OCBC Bank was born out of the Great Depression through the consolidation of three banks in 1932 - the Chinese Commercial Bank Limited (incorporated in 1912), the Ho Hong Bank Limited (incorporated in 1917) and the Oversea-Chinese Bank Limited (incorporated in 1919). During this challenging period of economic crisis, many people had difficulties coping with everyday life. Our founders understood the problems that people faced and took the initiative to provide customers with financial solutions for their personal and business needs, and to support the community. This indirectly helped to gradually rebuild Singapore's war-torn economy after 1945.
The merger of three
In the early 1930s, many financial institutions were affected by the Great Depression, including OCBC Bank’s three predecessor banks - Chinese Commercial Bank, Ho Hong Bank and Oversea-Chinese Bank. The continuing crisis pushed the three banks to merge and consolidate their strengths. Mr Lee Kong Chian, then vice-chairman of Chinese Commercial Bank, led the amalgamation of the three banks to form OCBC Bank in 1932. Besides being well-known for his generous philanthropy, Mr Lee was also well-respected as the son-in-law of Mr Tan Kah Kee. Mr Tan played a key role in galvanising overseas Chinese to help China during World War II and returned to China to join in the post-war rebuilding efforts. Both Mr Lee and Mr Tan were from Fujian Province, China. Today, Mr Lee is affectionately known as the founding father of OCBC Bank.
Our first regional footprint
Under the leadership of Mr Lee Kong Chian (1938-1964), Mr Tan Chin Tuan (1966-1983) and Mr Lee Choon Seng (acting Chairman during the Occupation), we flourished and became one of the largest banks in Singapore and Malaysia. OCBC Bank was also the only foreign bank to have branches in China in the 1950s – our long history in China dates back to 1925 when we opened our first branch in Xiamen, the first Singapore bank to do so.
We have an excellent history of innovation, which is constantly enriched by the introduction of "firsts" into the market. Even as far back as 1948, OCBC Bank changed the face of banking by introducing the night safe system which allowed customers to deposit cash and valuables after dark. In 1958, the mobile bank was created, targeting customers living in suburban areas.
Strong focus in Asia
We were also one of the pioneers of the Asian dollar market in the 1960s.
Our first billion
By 1970, our total resources exceeded S$1 billion, making us then, the largest banking organisation with the biggest deposit base in Singapore. Our spirit of innovation is kept alive by a strong focus on introducing new products and services that meet our customers' changing needs, and is apparent from the awards we have achieved over the years. In 1972, we acquired Four Seas Communications Bank.
Transforming the way customers bank
In the 1980s, we were the first to install a 24-hour cash withdrawal ATM and Easi-Cash ATMs, which allowed for the transfer of funds and quick withdrawal of cash in fixed denominations.
Expanding Our Scope
Since its incorporation in 1994, OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad (“OCBC Malaysia”) has grown to become one of Malaysia’s largest foreign banks by most counts.
Consolidation of the banking sector
In 2001, we were the first Singapore-based financial institution to embrace consolidation in Singapore’s banking sector by acquiring Keppel Capital Holdings Ltd and all its subsidiaries, including Keppel TatLee Bank Limited, Keppel Securities Private Limited and Keppel TatLee Finance Limited. In 2002, OCBC Bank and Keppel TatLee Bank were operationally and legally integrated.
Charting our growth strategy
Great Eastern Holdings ("GEH") had been an associate company of OCBC Bank since 1958. In 2004, we increased our stake in GEH to 81.1% from 48.8%, creating a financial services group with an enlarged asset base that could leverage on the strengths of OCBC Bank and GEH in the wealth management business. Our stake in GEH was increased further to 86.9% in 2006 and to 87.1% in 2008. In 2004, we acquired a 22.5% stake in PT Bank NISP Tbk (“Bank NISP”), our joint-venture partner in PT OCBC Indonesia since 1996. Bank NISP’s business focus complements OCBC Bank’s strengths and target growth segments in the SME and consumer banking business. With the completion of this transaction, Bank NISP became an associate company of OCBC Bank. Bank NISP was ranked the 12th largest Indonesian bank by assets and had a network of 135 branches and offices.
Charting our growth strategy
In 2005, Lion Global Investors was formed as a subsidiary of OCBC Bank following the merger of OCBC Asset Management and Straits Lion Asset Management, to realise synergies in their investment product capabilities across a broad array of asset classes.
Forming strategic partnerships based on shared values
While most foreign banks in China have taken the route of expanding mainly through organic growth, we place equal emphasis on growth through local strategic alliances. In January 2006, OCBC Bank became the first Singapore bank to make a strategic investment in a Chinese bank, when we acquired 12.2% of Bank of Ningbo (“BON”). We have since increased our shareholding in BON to 20% in September 2014.
A regional strategy
In August 2007, we incorporated a local entity in China, OCBC Bank (China) Limited. It offered a suite of personal banking products and services that catered to individual financial needs, and business banking products and services to foreign companies and local enterprises operating in the market.
A regional strategy
In 2008, Bank NISP was renamed Bank OCBC NISP to reflect both our close ties and to acknowledge the trust and support shown by OCBC Bank as the major shareholder. By that point, Bank OCBC NISP’s network had expanded to over 330 branches and offices.
First Singapore-based Islamic bank in Malaysia
Its Islamic banking subsidiary, OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad (“OCBC Al-Amin”), was the first Singapore-based Islamic Bank established in Malaysia in 2008.
Asia’s Global Private Bank
In 2010, we completed the acquisition of ING Asia Private Bank, marking a transformational step in our comprehensive wealth management strategy. The acquired entity became a wholly-owned private banking subsidiary of OCBC Bank and was renamed Bank of Singapore Limited (“Bank of Singapore”). Bank of Singapore gives us a strong presence in the high net worth segment and cements our position as a leading wealth management player in Asia.
Expanding access to regional exchanges
We acquired an 80% shareholding in stockbroking firm, PT TransAsia Securities, in November 2012, renaming the subsidiary to OCBC Sekuritas a month later.
Global market access
We embarked on the largest acquisition in our history when we acquired Hong Kong-listed Wing Hang Bank for S$6.2 billion in 2014. We first acquired a majority stake in Wing Hang in July 2014 and assumed full ownership in October 2014. Shortly thereafter, we delisted it from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In October 2014, we also rebranded the franchise in Hong Kong and Macao as OCBC Wing Hang.
One of the largest foreign banks in the Greater Bay Area
In July 2014, we successfully acquired Wing Hang Bank in Hong Kong SAR. Headquartered in Hong Kong SAR, it was rebranded OCBC Wing Hang in Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR on 1 October 2014 and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of OCBC Bank on 15 October 2014. Its subsidiary in China, Wing Hang Bank (China) Limited, was officially merged with OCBC Bank (China) Limited on July 2016 to become OCBC Wing Hang Bank (China) Limited (“OCBC Wing Hang China”). Headquartered in Shanghai, OCBC Wing Hang China has a registered capital of RMB5 billion (S$1 billion) and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of OCBC Wing Hang in Hong Kong SAR, which is itself, 100 per cent owned by OCBC Bank. Its 32 branches and sub-branches span 14 major cities across both Northern and Southern China - Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Xiamen, Tianjin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Qingdao, Shaoxing and Suzhou. In the Pearl River Delta region in China, one of the country’s main hubs of economic growth, OCBC Wing Hang China has 13 branches and sub-branches, largest among the Singapore banks.
Providing comprehensive services
In December 2014, we increased our shareholding in OCBC Sekuritas to 95.1%. Apart from its head office in Jakarta, OCBC Sekuritas has another branch in Surabaya. Taken together, the capabilities of our subsidiaries - OCBC NISP and OCBC Sekuritas - translate into a fuller suite of services that we are able to offer both individual and corporate clients in Indonesia – from consumer and SME banking, to securities services and debt and equity financing.
First Singapore bank to own a headquarter building in China
In 2016, we merged our two banking subsidiaries in China – OCBC China and Wing Hang China – to become OCBC Wing Hang China. OCBC Wing Hang China has a registered capital of RMB5 billion and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of OCBC Wing Hang in Hong Kong. Its head office is at OCBC Tower located at Yuanshen Road in the Pudong financial district of Shanghai.
Expanding our branch network in Malaysia
As part of the liberalisation efforts of the Malaysia Government, locally incorporated foreign banks in Malaysia including OCBC Malaysia were granted licenses to open new branches from 2006. This allowed OCBC Malaysia to grow its total network size to 46 branches, comprising 33 conventional branches and 13 Islamic Banking branches as at 1 December 2018.
Charting our growth strategy
In April 2016, our private banking subsidiary, Bank of Singapore, acquired the wealth and investment management business of Barclays in Singapore and Hong Kong. The transaction was completed in November 2016, with US$13 billion of assets transferred to Bank of Singapore.
Bank of Singapore opens branch in DIFC
Bank of Singapore opened a new branch in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The setting up of this branch in DIFC further strengthens our franchise and commitment to serve the burgeoning population of ultra-high and high-net worth individuals in this region. Prior to the set-up of the branch, Bank of Singapore anchored its presence in Dubai since 1996 through its representative office based outside of the DIFC.
Bank of Singapore launches European subsidiary
Bank of Singapore, our private banking subsidiary, officially launched its European wealth management subsidiary in April 2019. Through this new subsidiary, BOS Wealth Management Europe, Bank of Singapore can offer a range of private banking solutions and investment advisory services to its ultra-high and high net worth clients in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the United Kingdom. BOS Wealth Management is headquartered in Luxembourg and has a London office.