OCBC Bank (M) looks to outsourcing, F&B sectors to boost premier banking in Penang

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 Sangeetha Amarthalingam

GEORGE TOWN (Nov 14): OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad aims to tap into Penang’s shared-services outsourcing (SSO), business processing outsourcing (BPO), and the burgeoning food and beverage (F&B) sectors to further grow its premier banking segment here.

Its CEO Ong Eng Bin said about RM5 million had been invested in its premier banking centre here, that has quadrupled in size to become the bank's biggest centre in Malaysia.

Speaking at a press conference, Ong said although the manufacturing sector formed the backbone of the state, there has been a rise in more discerning F&B outlets, making services a sector the bank is keen on supporting.

Ong said the state government’s encouragement in the setting up of an outsourcing centre in Batu Kawan had also make the business one that OCBC premier banking would be pursuing in Penang.

“Being a Singapore-based organisation, we have a lot of on-going discussions with Singapore companies. Therefore, we hope to work with the state in this area in Penang,” he said.

Ong said OCBC's Penang branches had been experiencing growth rates of almost 40% in assets under management (AUM) for its premier banking over the twelve-month period ended June 2014.

“In addition, our investment business grew by over 20% during the same period, signifying growing confidence in our premier banking offerings. Another telling statistic is that our premier banking customer base increased by 20% during the same period.

“The numbers tell us that the relationship between us and the community is growing stronger due to the emphasis we continue to place on service excellence from every conceivable perspective,” he said.

The 8,000 sq ft centre sited next to the bank's present building, will be opened by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and witnessed by OCBC Chairman Datuk Ooi Seng Kuang. The centre incorporates the heritage and historical values of the pre-war building.

The centre features private financial discussion space, video conferencing facilities with analysts, and more dedicated safe deposit boxes.

“The investment has positioned us for future growth. We have invested in a huge operation like our accounts services that will serve Malaysia and Singapore from here,” he said.