OCBC Bank registered an increase of 45% in the sale of its wealth management products in the first 10 days of launch compared to the prior 10 days, indicating a positive response from customers to non-face-to-face wealth conversations. The products range from unit trusts to bancassurance products, and from structured investments and bonds to foreign exchange products.
As a result, customers of OCBC Bank retail banking, OCBC Premier Banking and OCBC Premier Private Client were able to review their investment portfolios during a time of market volatility and seize investment opportunities. While the take-up for the new process by customers of the retail banking segment have been encouraging, customers of OCBC Premier Banking and OCBC Premier Private Client have shown better responses as many trades were already done over the phone in the past.
Since 18 April 2020, OCBC Bank’s more than 1,000 financial and wealth advisors have been conducting meetings and sales advisory via video and screen-sharing facilities in place of physical face-to-face interactions previously conducted at branches, with the bank’s encrypted video conferencing tool used to ensure customers’ privacy. E-signatures are accepted instead of paper signatures – pdf copies of FNA forms, product summary and term sheets as well as product application forms are sent by encrypted email in place of paper documents.
Banking products purchased digitally soared during circuit breaker
OCBC Bank has seen the take-up for digital services soar, from new accounts to the sale of investments. Within the first two weeks of the circuit breaker, time deposit placements online increased by 150%. Compared to January, there was a 14% increase in current account and savings account (CASA) opened in April. Overall, one in three credit cards and 30% of CASA are now acquired digitally.
Eight in 10 of OCBC Bank’s digitally active customers now bank using their mobiles, with more than 90% of the total volume of the bank’s financial transactions in Singapore performed on digital.
The digital adoption for wealth solutions continued to rise in the first quarter of 2020 as well. The bank saw robust growth of 40% in financial transactions year-on-year. Sixty percent of unit trusts were purchased digitally, showing a 2.5 times quarter-on-quarter growth in value. Investment amounts in the OCBC RoboInvest service grew by 60% quarter-on-quarter, an increase of 3.5 times year-on-year from the first quarter of 2019.
Virtual wealth advisory, the new normal even after COVID-19 outbreak
Prior to the circuit breaker measures being introduced, OCBC Bank’s financial consultants had reached out actively to customers to invite them to the branch for a review of their financial plans.
As the COVID-19 outbreak worsened and people stayed home during the circuit breaker period, which began on 7 April 2020, there was a 60% drop in average customer footfall at branches. OCBC Bank temporarily closed 22 branches on 9 April to encourage more people to stay at home and minimise social contact to curb the spread of the virus for the safety of staff and customers. Twenty-four branches remained open to ensure that there was at least one branch open in the proximity of every neighbourhood town centre to support banking needs.
Sunny Quek, OCBC Bank’s head of consumer financial services in Singapore, said, “While many customers are still accustomed to face-to-face interactions with our bankers, even after the COVID-19 outbreak, this virtual process will become a new normal. In the future, customers will have a choice at their convenience to decide the best mode of engagement for their financial needs.”
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker