OCBC's digital services and community support provide relief amid COVID-19
OCBC Bank’s digitalisation efforts helped deliver uninterrupted service to customers during COVID-19. It also provided various relief measures to help customers and supported communities through financial donations and job creation
Samuel Tsien, Group CEO of OCBC Bank was recognised for Leadership Achievement for Best COVID-19 Response by The Asian Banker, and OCBC Bank was awarded Best Managed Bank during COVID-19 in Singapore.
Digitalisation efforts helped deliver uninterrupted service to customers during COVID-19
OCBC Bank was recognised for its digitalisation initiatives which significantly improved operational resilience and security, process efficiency, and customer experience.
Nine of 10 financial transactions were performed using digital channels. Most of the activities involved credit card, loan, deposit account as well as financial advisory and related services. Under his leadership, the bank built a robust and secure technology infrastructure that allowed its employees to work from home.
The bank had a sharp uptake in the adoption of digital banking services in the first half of 2020. More than 100,000 new users used the bank’s digital banking services in that period. Accounts opened by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and consumers digitally grew by 1.8 times and 2 times, respectively, from a year ago. PayNow Corporate transactions jumped 8.7 times while SME loans applied digitally stood at 42%, up from 20% the previous year.
Various relief measures were provided to help customers
The bank launched various relief measures to support its customers during the pandemic. Assistance included deferment of repayments for loans, lowering the interest rates for personal unsecured credit, waiver of fall-below bank account service fees and failed GIRO deduction charges, and extension of debt consolidation plan loan tenure.
The bank introduced financial and cash flow relief measures as well as practical guides and information to help corporate customers achieve business continuity.
OCBC extended the moratorium relief across the region amounting to $19.4 billion, 88% of which were secured. This accounted for about 10% of its total loans. In Singapore, 6.8% of total loans were under moratorium, with 96% secured.
Supporting communities through financial donations and job creation
Under Tsien’s leadership, the bank took steps to boost market and consumer confidence by creating and protecting jobs. On 15 June 2020, the bank announced a plan to hire more than 3,000 workers to support its job creation drive in Singapore. It also pledged to keep its 30,000 employees.
The bank also supported communities across its key markets. It gave more than $1.8 million worth of aid to health workers, senior citizens, migrant workers, and families affected by the pandemic.
On his leadership during the crisis, he commented, “The only way for a leader to survive and succeed – which also means securing his or her organisation’s survival and success - is to listen, learn and adapt; to accept that there is more than one correct way of doing the right thing; and to be humble in one’s interactions with all the stakeholders”.
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