Bank of Singapore to open branch in DIFC, to cater for Gulf HNWIs

The Bank of Singapore has been granted a licence to open a branch office in Dubai’s International Financial Centre, as it looks to cater for wealthy expats and locals in the Gulf.

The new licence will permit the Bank of Singapore, a part of the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, to carry out private banking services in the region, “including investments, credit and wealth planning advisory services”, according to a joint statement  issued by the bank and the DIFC.

The official opening of the branch is scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2017, the statement said.

The new Bank of Singapore outpost is coming at a time when private wealth in the Middle East and Africa is projected to rise at a compounded annual rate of 8.2%, to reach a record high US$11.8trn –  1.4 times higher than the global average, according to Boston Consulting Group data.

Presence since 1996

Bank of Singapore isn’t a complete stranger to Dubai, having maintained a representative office there since 1996, outside of the DIFC. It says that over the past three years it has registered “stellar growth in the Middle East region”, with assets under management having doubled, and net new money having grown “by almost five times”.

Bank of Singapore chief executive Bahren Shaari said in the statement that the establishment of the DIFC branch, the bank was committing to “scaling up our research and advisory capabilities, to better serve high net worth individuals in this region”.

The bank said its representative office in Dubai will continue to operate and to look after its existing clients in the Dubai market, including their access to the Bank of Singapore platform, even after the DIFC branch is open.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen Burggraf
Helen Burggraf is the editor of International Investment. A US-trained journalist, she has worked in Rome, New York City and London, covering everything from the fashion and retailing industries to the global drinking water and water-treatment sector, private equity, and most recently, the international cross-border financial services/advice industry.

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