Digital wealth investing 'a step too far' for most Singaporeans: HSBC survey

Digital wealth investing 'a step too far' for most Singaporeans: HSBC survey

HSBC Singapore has released the results of a survey that shows a reluctance among Singaporeans to use mobile banking for wealth management, despite the vast majority using apps for their day-to-day banking.

While the majority of Singaporeans conduct their day-to-day transactional banking online, digital wealth investing remains a bridge too far according to research by HSBC.

The survey found that the vast majority of surveyed Singaporeans use their mobile banking app for basic banking transactions such as checking account balances (75%) and paying bills (67%).

Our reports shows that Singaporeans are ‘bill payers’ and not ‘investment makers’ when it comes to mobile banking."

However, only 21% have made long-term investments, such as bonds, using their smartphones while 25% have history of using their mobile banking app to make short-term investments such as equities or unit trusts.

Ian Yim, head of wealth and international, HSBC Singapore said: "Our reports shows that Singaporeans are ‘bill payers' and not ‘investment makers' when it comes to mobile banking. This could be due to a general lack of confidence or knowledge of how they can get started on investing. What this tells us is that more needs to be done to help Singaporeans be equipped with the basic investment know-how. Providing easily accessible online financial education resources and simple investment platforms will be key."

He added: "Covid-19 has forced many parts of life to be conducted virtually. While Singaporeans have not fully embraced investing digitally, we are starting to see behaviour shift. Between January and May this year, we saw self-directed investments into equities and unit trusts via our internet banking platform growing 3x and 2.5x respectively from the same period last year. 

"As Singapore moves towards economic re-opening, we expect these trends to continue as challenges around digital familiarity and trust would have been cracked."

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.