Being an international financial center of the region and the world, Singapore has one of the most vibrant economics around. Furthermore, it has one of the most supportive governments when it comes to doing business which brings in a lot of foreign direct investments into Singapore.
Banks in Singapore
The banking sector alone in Singapore has been actively growing over the years. Singapore is among the top banking hub in Southeast Asia and this continues to grow by leaps and bounds especially with the likes of mobile and internet banking becoming a norm among customers. In Singapore, there are both local and foreign banks, some of which are regional and some which are very popular globally. While there are many banks operating in Singapore, the local ones are as below.
Developmental Bank of Singapore
Anyone who talks about banks in Singapore would have mentioned DBS Bank which is short for Development Bank of Singapore. It is among the oldest banks in the country which was established back in 1968. Besides being the largest bank in Singapore, it is the largest in Southeast Asia as well. Among the countries that DBS has a branch include:
- The Philippines,
- South Korea
- Hong Kong
- the United States
- the United Kingdom
DBS Bank has been rated as one of the top banks not only with the Asian region but in the world as well. According to Moody, it has been rated as an Aa1 for long-term credit. Among its services offered include those in corporate and personal banking. This includes brokerage services, debt financing, asset management, treasury and capital market services and very prominently, consumer banking.
Post Office Savings Bank
The Post Office Savings Bank or POSB is possibly the oldest bank in the region. Although it was acquired by DBS bank back in 1998, it still has its own operations. The bank was established in 1877 which means it is almost 150 years old now. POSB was originally running as a public bank which offers low-cost banking services to Singaporeans. Although it is now part of a larger banking group, it still continues to offer such services where it has maintained this direction particularly for the lower income groups. For full-times students below 21, children and full-time National Servicemen, they are exempted from bank charges when they use the services. This makes their services extremely affordable where it continues to play this part to the community in Singapore.
United Overseas Bank
The United Overseas Bank or UOB is one of the most established banks in the region. In 2016, its total assets was valued at more than $200,000,000,000 which is extremely remarkable. Being the third largest bank in Southeast Asia, the bank was first established in 1935 under the name United Chinese Bank. This was then changed to UOB after Singapore achieved independence in 1965. Today, UOB operates more than 500 offices around the world in about 20 countries. Its products include personal and corporate banking services. Like DBS Bank, UOB has a long-term credit rating of Aa1 (High Quality) from Moody’s where it offers all types of services including insurance, asset management and private banking, among others.
OCBC Bank stands for Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation. This is one of the top banks in Singapore and in the world in fact. Its total assets breaches across $ 2 billion and is currently the second largest bank in Singapore and Southeast Asia. OCBC Bank is actually the result of a merge between 3 banks in Singapore that took place in 1932. This include the Chinese Commercial Bank, the Ho Hong Bank, and the Oversea Chinese Bank. To date, OCBC Bank operates across 18 countries with the headquarters in Singapore. Among the countries that OCBC operates in include Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. In fact, Bank OCBC NISP in Indonesia itself operates more than 600 branches.
Standard Chartered Bank
One of the most prominent international banks operating in Singapore is Standard Chartered Bank. This is one of the oldest banks in the world today having been around since 1858 where it came from England. Today, Standard Chartered Bank is present in over 70 countries and territories but it must be noted that about 90% of its profits are from Asia alone. In Singapore, Standard Chartered Bank has been around since 1859 but it was only until 1999 that the Singaporean government issued this organization a QFB or Qualifying Full Bank license. In Singapore meanwhile, Standard Chartered Bank operates about 17 branches that offer corporate and personal banking that covers the likes of securities services, debt capital markets, foreign exchange, lending and cash management. It recently published a total asset of about $650, 000, 000.
Citibank is another international bank with a strong presence in Singapore. It is from the United States which was established back in 1812. Today, Citibank is among the top banks in the world that has more than 2,500 branches in more than 150 countries and territories. In Singapore, it was first established in 1902 through the International Banking Corporation and growing into becoming one of the top banks there. It now offers products in insurance, cards, mortgages, deposit accounts and investment facilities, among others.
HSBC is short for Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation. It is actually one of the largest banks in the world where it operates more than 4,000 offices in nearly 75 countries and territories. HSBC first came to Singapore back in 1877 and it was one of the prominent players in the reconstruction of Singapore after the Second World War. Today, HSBC Bank in Singapore has a QFB (Qualified Full Bank) license where it provides all types of products in both corporate and personal banking that covers the likes of loans, credit cards, corporate lending, investment services and many more.
State Bank of India
In 2016 alone, the total assets of the State Bank of India came to slightly over $400,000,000,000. It is among the largest banks from India and is known in short as SBI. Operating in many office around the world, it is one of the foreign banks with a QFB license that reaches out to corporate and individual customers. Its services include asset management, savings and deposit accounts, banking services, mortgage loans and such which are targeted to both corporate and individual customers.
Bank of China
The Bank of China is one of the most recognized Chinese banks outside the country. it is actually one of the state-run commercial banks in China that has expanded overseas and globally quite successfully. Established back in 1912, the Bank of China has grown to become one of the top brands from China across the world. It is one of the five large banks which came to Singapore back in 1936. It is one of the foreign banks with a QFB license. As such, it offers services like deposits, personal loans, wealth management services, unit trusts, foreign exchange services, securities investment, corporate lending and many more.