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Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited
Native name
Type Public
SGX: O39
Straits Times Index component
Industry Banking
Founded31 October 1932; 91 years ago (1932-10-31) [1]
Headquarters OCBC Centre, Singapore
Area served
Southeast Asia and Greater China
Key people
Low Choon Seng ( Chairman) [2]
Helen Wong ( CEO)
Products Financial services
Services Corporate banking, investment banking, private banking, retail banking, treasury management, wealth management, investment management, Asset management
RevenueIncrease S$9.7 billion (2019) [3]
Increase S$6.33 billion (2019) [4]
Total assetsIncrease S$ 521.3 billion (2020) [4]
Total equityIncrease S$51.1 billion (2020) [4]
Number of employees
29,706 (2018) [4]
Subsidiaries Bank OCBC NISP
OCBC Bank (Hong Kong)
Bank of Singapore
OCBC Al-Amin
Great Eastern Life
Lion Global Investors
OCBC Securities
OCBC Sekuritas
Capital ratio Tier 1 15.2% (2020; Basel III Advanced)
Rating Standard & Poor's: AA-
Moody's: Aa1
Fitch Ratings: AA-

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Limited ( Chinese: 華僑銀行公司; pinyin: Huáqiáo Yínháng Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī), often known as OCBC Bank ( Chinese: 華僑銀行; pinyin: Huáqiáo Yínháng), is a Singapore multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in OCBC Centre, Singapore. OCBC Bank was born out of the Great Depression through the consolidation of three banks in 1932 — the Chinese Commercial Bank Limited (incorporated in 1912), the Ho Hong Bank Limited (incorporated in 1917) and the Oversea-Chinese Bank Limited (incorporated in 1919).

OCBC Bank has assets of more than S$521.3 billion, [5] making it the second largest bank in Southeast Asia by assets. [6] It is also one of the world’s most highly-rated banks, with an Aa1 rating from Moody’s [7] and AA- rating from Standard & Poor's. [8]

OCBC Bank is consistently ranked amongst the top three "safest banks in the world" by the magazine Global Finance. [9] The Asian Banker named OCBC Bank Singapore's strongest bank for 2018-2019, and the 5th strongest in Asia-Pacific. [10] The bank's global network has grown to comprise more than 570 branches and representative offices in 18 countries and regions. These include over 320 branches and offices in Indonesia under subsidiary Bank OCBC NISP, and more than 100 branches and offices in Hong Kong, China and Macao under OCBC Bank (Hong Kong), OCBC Bank (China) and OCBC Bank (Macau) respectively. [11] OCBC Bank was awarded World's Best Bank (Asia-Pacific) in 2019 by Global Finance Magazine. [12]


Former OCBC Bank in South Bridge Road, Singapore.

On 31 October 1932, three banks – Chinese Commercial Bank (1912), Ho Hong Bank (1917), and Oversea-Chinese Bank (1919), merged to form Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation under the leadership of Hoklos Tan Ean Kiam and Lee Kong Chian. In the subsequent decades, the bank expanded its operations and became the largest bank in South East Asia. [13]

In 1942 during World War II, all the local banks in Singapore closed briefly during the early days of the Japanese Occupation. By April 1942 most banks, including OCBC, had resumed normal operations. In Indonesia, the Japanese occupation authorities closed OCBC's branches in Sumatra. During the war, the bank moved its head office to Bombay, India and only re-registered back in Singapore after the war ended. [14] OCBC's branch in Xiamen survived the war and in the 1950s, OCBC was one of only four foreign banks to have branches in China. [15]

After the war, OCBC re-established its branches in Jambi, Jakarta, and Surabaya. However, the 1963 conflict between Indonesia and Malaysia (which then included Singapore) resulted in the closure of OCBC's branches there. That same year the revolutionary government in Burma nationalized OCBC's two branches there, which became People's Bank No. 14. [16]

The bank was criticized for not expanding fast enough to meet the needs of the post-war Chinese business community, especially in the smaller towns of Malaya. One of the critics was Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat, who subsequently resigned to set up Malayan Banking.[ citation needed] By 1970, OCBC's total assets exceeded 1 billion SGD, making OCBC the largest financial institution with the biggest deposit base in Singapore.

In 1972, OCBC acquired Four Seas Communications Bank, the oldest surviving Chinese bank in Singapore. The bank had been founded in 1906 as the Sze Hai Tong Bank and its founders had targeted the Teochew community. [17]

On 9 May 1989, OCBC took on a new corporate identity by changing its logo and its name to OCBC Bank. [13]

The bank had branches in Hong Kong and in Bangkok, where it had become the first Chinese bank there when it opened its branch in 1909. [18]

The next major acquisition occurred in 2001, when OCBC Bank acquired Keppel Capital Holdings and all its subsidiaries, including Keppel TatLee Bank, Keppel Securities, and Keppel TatLee Finance. The next year OCBC operationally and legally integrated Keppel TatLee Bank. In 2003 OCBC merged OCBC Finance into OCBC Bank.

On 25 June 2004, OCBC Bank established a wholly owned subsidiary e2 Power Pte Ltd to provide back-office support and transaction processing services in Singapore. A similar operating company, e2 Power Sdn Bhd was also set up on 21 July 2004 in Malaysia. [19]

In June 2005, OCBC Bank saw the official opening of its new corporate HQ in Kuala Lumpur, and in July the same year, opened an off-shore branch in Brunei. [20]

  • 2007: Commencement of business of OCBC China Bank.
  • 2008: Acquired 67% shareholding in PacificMas Berhad.

In March 2020, OCBC announced its partnership with Xero, a New Zealand-based cloud accounting software, to help clients digitize their operations. [21]

In July 2020, OCBC launched HealthPass, a healthcare mobile application that aims to connect patients with medical doctors in Singapore via online consultation. [22]


The ten largest shareholders as of 8 March 2021 [23] are:

Name of Shareholders No. of Shareholdings %*
1. Citibank Nominees Singapore Pte Ltd 705,234,459 15.76
2. DBS Nominees (Pte) Ltd 481,599,607 10.76
3. Selat (Pte) Ltd 466,981,882 10.43
4. DBSN Services Pte Ltd 288,391,324 6.44
5. HSBC (Singapore) Nominees Pte Ltd 209,467,354 4.68
6. Lee Foundation 198,210,257 4.43
7. Singapore Investments Pte Ltd 157,007,526 3.51
8. Lee Rubber Company (Pte) Ltd 141,656,364 3.17
9. Herald Investment (Pte) Ltd 101,975,411 2.28
10 Raffles Nominees (Pte) Ltd 79,791,356 1.78

* Percentage is calculated based on the total number of issued ordinary shares, excluding treasury shares.


Main branch of OCBC
OCBC Bank Tampines Centre, located in Tampines Central, Singapore
OCBC Bank at Beach Street in George Town, Penang, Malaysia
OCBC Bank Malaysia branch head office in Kuala Lumpur.
OCBC Bank in Ipoh, Malaysia.
OCBC Wing Hang Bank Queen's Road Central Branch in Hong Kong.

OCBC Securities

OCBC Securities Private Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of OCBC Bank, and is a member of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX-ST) and the Singapore Exchange Derivatives Trading Limited (SGX-DT). It was established in 1986.

Great Eastern Holdings

In 2004, OCBC acquired Great Eastern Holdings (GEH) following a voluntary cash offer. GEH had $53.1 billion in assets and 3.8 million policyholders as at 30 September 2010. GEH operates two distribution channels – the tied agency force and bancassurance. The company also operates in Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. On 19 June 2023, OCBC upped its stake in insurance arm Great Eastern Holdings to 88.4%. [24]

Lion Global Investors (LGI)

In September 2005, OCBC Asset Management Limited (the asset management arm of OCBC Bank) and Straits Lion Asset Management Limited (the asset management arm of Great Eastern) merged to form Lion Capital Management. In 2008, Lion Capital Management was renamed as Lion Global Investors. The Brunei Branch of Lion Global Investors also began operations. Lion Global Investors had total assets under management of S$69.9 billion as at 31 March 2023. [25]

Lion Global Investors Limited is 70% owned by Great Eastern Holdings Limited and 30% owned by Orient Holdings Private Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of OCBC Bank. [26]

Bank of Singapore

Bank of Singapore, (formerly ING Asia Private Bank), is a wholly owned private banking subsidiary of OCBC Bank. With branches in Hong Kong and Dubai and a representative office in Makati City, Bank of Singapore serves high-net-worth individuals and wealthy families of Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Middle East and Europe, as well as global Non-Resident Indians. OCBC acquired ING Asia Private Bank on 29 January 2010 [27] and renamed it Bank of Singapore. [28]

Singapore Island Bank

Singapore Island Bank was formerly known as Bank of Singapore which housed the division, finatiQ, set up by OCBC Bank in 2000 as a self-service online bank during the dot-com bubble.

On 29 January 2010, OCBC Bank completed its acquisition of ING Asia Private Bank and renamed it Bank of Singapore. Therefore, OCBC renamed the bank that housed finatiQ, Singapore Island Bank to differentiate these two separate businesses to avoid confusion. [29] As an online-only service provider of OCBC Bank, finatiQ could no longer meet the growing needs of the bank's customers and had ceased business on 30 June 2011. [30]


In 2004, OCBC Bank acquired a 22.5% stake in PT Bank NISP Tbk ("Bank NISP"), its joint-venture partner in PT OCBC Indonesia since 1996. With the completion of this transaction, Bank NISP became an associate company of OCBC Bank. Bank NISP was ranked the 11th largest Indonesian bank by assets and had a network of 135 branches and offices and, over 3,000 shared ATMs.

In the same year, OCBC Bank purchased an additional 28.5% stake in Bank NISP, raising its shareholding in Bank NISP to 51%. OCBC Bank subsequently raised its stake to 70.62% in 2005. By 2008, it had increased its stake in Bank NISP to 74.73%. In 2008, Bank NISP changed its name to Bank OCBC NISP.

As of 30 September 2010, Bank OCBC NISP had 5,995 employees, total assets of Rp 40.2 trillion, and served customers through a network of 411 offices in 62 cities and 576 ATMs throughout Indonesia. Its customers could also use more than 37,500 ATMs (including ATMs belonging to ATM Bersama, Bank Central Asia, OCBC Bank in Singapore, and BankCard in Malaysia). Subsequently, in November 2010, OCBC Indonesia merged with OCBC NISP. [31]

OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad

OCBC wholly owns OCBC Al-Amin Bank, which offers Islamic banking products and services in Malaysia. OCBC had offered Islamic banking products and services since 1995. Finally, on 1 December 2008 OCBC launched OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad. OCBC Al-Amin offers products and services based on the applicable Shariah contract and with the endorsement of the Shariah Advisory Committee.

OCBC Bank (China)

OCBC China has 17 branches on the mainland and in Hong Kong. OCBC's presence in China dates back to 1925 when it opened a branch in Xiamen. In 2007 OCBC established its wholly owned subsidiary with headquarters in Shanghai.

OCBC Bank (Hong Kong)

In March 2014, OCBC Bank offered to pay nearly US$5 Billion for Wing Hang Bank, one of Hong Kong's last family-owned banks. [32] Wing Hang was the eighth-largest lender in Hong Kong. Under the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance, OCBC Bank, with 97.52 percent of Wing Hang's shares, compulsorily acquired Wing Hang on 29 July 2014.

On 1 October 2014, Wing Hang Bank was rebranded as OCBC Wing Hang Bank to reflect its integration into the OCBC family. [33]

On 3 July 2023, OCBC Wing Hang Bank Limited has further changed its name to "OCBC Bank (Hong Kong) Limited" and in Macau, "Banco OCBC Weng Hang, S.A.", has changed its name to "Banco OCBC (Macau), S.A." "Wing Hang" or "Weng Hang" is no longer in the legal names of both OCBC HK & Macau subsidiaries.

Select Securities Limited (Hong Kong)

In November 1960, OCBC established an investment holding company named as Select Securities Limited. The company is based in Hong Kong and operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of OCBC Bank. [34] Select Securities Limited has been dissolved and ceased to be a subsidiary of OCBC Bank with effect from 22 March 2016. [35]

Equity investment

Ningbo Commercial Bank

In 2006, OCBC Bank first acquired a 12.2% equity holding in China's Ningbo Commercial Bank. OCBC Bank subsequently raised its stake in the renamed Bank of Ningbo to 20% in 2014. [36]


Phishing scams (2021)

In December 2021, nearly 470 customers of OCBC lost a combined S$8.5 million after fallen prey to phishing scams involving OCBC, when scammers took advantage of old short message service (SMS) technology to impersonate the bank to send unsolicited SMSes and dupe victims into handing over their online banking log-in details. [37] OCBC later announced in January 2022 that it will make "full goodwill payouts" to all victims. [38]

Wirecard scandal (2023)

In June 2023, OCBC was fined S$600,000 by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for breaching anti- money laundering and anti- terrorism financing rules, in a matter related to the German payments provider Wirecard scandal between June 2015 and January 2016 relating to accounts maintained by one corporate customer. [39] OCBC had failed to inquire into the background and purpose of transactions that were not consistent with its knowledge of the customer, or were unusually large and exhibited an unusual pattern that had no apparent economic purpose. The bank also failed to probe into the customer’s ownership and control structure when its declared beneficial owner was not named in its corporate registration documents. [40]

Banking disruptions (2023)

On 28 August 2023, OCBC's banking services were disrupted by a technical problem at about 8.33am, which affected both consumer and banking customers. The affected services included the bank's internet and mobile banking platforms, the PayNow service, ATMs, cards, and Velocity, the bank's digital business banking platform. All banking services were restored at about 12.20pm. [41] [42] According to media reports, OCBC shares gained 1.05% in afternoon trading that day. [43]

On 7 November 2023, the bank's services were affected by "intermittent technical issues" around noontime. The services affected included digital banking services, fund transfer services, PayNow services, and SMS one-time passcode services. According to media reports, some OCBC customers who contacted the bank's customer support were told that the service was fine, and were advised to uninstall and reinstall the app. [44] The services were restored at about 2.30pm. [45] [46]

Citations and references

  1. ^ "OVERSEA-CHINESE BANKING CORPORATION LIMITED (193200032W) – Singapore Business Directory". Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  2. ^ "Dr Cheong Choong Kong to retire as Chairman of OCBC". The Edge Singapore. Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  3. ^ "OCBC Bank Annual Report 2019" (PDF). OCBC Bank. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d "OCBC Bank Annual Report 2018" (PDF). OCBC Bank. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  5. ^ "OCBC - Investors - Financial Results - Historical Financial Highlights" (PDF). Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Oversea-Chinese Banking on the Forbes Global 2000 List". Forbes. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd". Moody's.
  8. ^ Sen, Siow Li (25 May 2017). "S&P affirms 'AA-' credit ratings for 3 Singapore banks". The Business Times. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  9. ^ "World's Safest Commercial Banks 2022 | Global Finance Magazine". 1 November 2022. Retrieved 21 July 2023.
  10. ^ "Strongest Banks". The Asian Banker. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  11. ^ "OCBC - Who we are - Group Business Overview". Retrieved 21 July 2023.
  12. ^ Platt, Gordon (7 May 2019). "Global Finance Magazine - Best Banks In The World 2019: Banking Transformed". Global Finance Magazine. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation is incorporated - Singapore History". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  14. ^ Straits Times, p. 4. 31 October 1972. Retrieved 15 November 2015
  15. ^ "China eases rules for foreign banks". The Straits Times. 24 December 1984. p. 3. Retrieved 15 November 2015 – via NewspaperSG.
  16. ^ Turnell (2009), p.226.
  17. ^ "Sze Hai Tong Banking & Insurance Company Limited | Infopedia". Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  18. ^ "OCBC Bank Singapore Branches". BanksinSG.COM. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  19. ^ "OCBC Bank to invest S$55 million to create cross-border processing hubs for selected back-office operations" (PDF). OCBC Bank. Retrieved 3 December 2004.
  20. ^ "The OCBC Group October 2014 Factsheet" (PDF). OCBC Bank. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  21. ^ "OCBC, Xero launch online accounting platform for SMEs". Singapore Business Review. 3 March 2020. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  22. ^ "Choosing health in a time of Covid-19, with HealthPass by OCBC". The Straits Times. 28 July 2020. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  23. ^ OCBC Shareholder Information - Major Shareholders
  24. ^ "OCBC ups stake in insurance arm Great Eastern to 88.4%". The Business Times. 19 June 2023.
  25. ^ "About Us". Lion Global Investors.
  26. ^ "Group Business - Asset Management". OCBC Bank.
  27. ^ "OCBC pays $1.5 billion for ING's Asia private bank". Reuters. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  28. ^ "ING Asia Private Bank renamed Bank of Singapore". Investment Asia. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  29. ^ "Bank of Singapore renamed Singapore Island Bank". Investment Asia. 5 February 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
  30. ^ "FinatiQ to cease operations". Asian Banking & Finance. 8 May 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  31. ^ "OCBC NISP, OCBC Indonesia merger approved". The Jakarta Post. 10 November 2010. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  32. ^ "Singapore's OCBC offers $4.95 billion for Wing Hang Bank in bet on China growth". Reuters. Archived from the original on 4 April 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  33. ^ "OCBC Announce". OCBC. Archived from the original on 29 September 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  34. ^ "Company Overview of Select Securities Limited". Bloomberg. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  35. ^ "Dissolution of Select Securities Limited". SGX. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  36. ^ "OCBC inks staff training deal with Bank of Ningbo". Singapore Business Review. 24 August 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  37. ^ "Nearly 470 people lose at least S$8.5m in phishing scams involving OCBC". The Business Times. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  38. ^ "All OCBC phishing scam victims to get their money back, CEO Helen Wong promises". The Business Times. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
  39. ^ "DBS, OCBC, Citibank and Swiss Life fined a total of $3.8m for breaches linked to Wirecard saga: MAS". The Straits Times. 21 June 2023. Retrieved 30 June 2023.
  40. ^ "MAS fines DBS, OCBC, Citi, Swiss Life for money-laundering rule breaches uncovered in Wirecard probe". The Business Times. Retrieved 30 June 2023.
  41. ^ "All OCBC banking services restored after morning outage". CNA. Retrieved 12 November 2023.
  42. ^ Ahire, Lavanya Sushil; Saligrama, Anirudh (28 August 2023). "Singapore's OCBC restores all banking services after channel disruption". Reuters. Retrieved 12 November 2023.
  43. ^ Jie, Lim Hui (28 August 2023). "Singapore's OCBC bank suffers brief outage, shares gain 1%". CNBC. Retrieved 12 November 2023.
  44. ^ Chiu, Christie (7 November 2023). "OCBC Internet banking, fund transfer services resume after lunch hour disruption". The Straits Times. ISSN  0585-3923. Retrieved 12 November 2023.
  45. ^ "OCBC digital banking, payment services restored after 2.5-hour disruption due to 'technical issues'". TODAY. Retrieved 12 November 2023.
  46. ^ "OCBC digital banking services resume after 'technical issues' affect PayNow, funds transfers". CNA. Retrieved 12 November 2023.
  • Turnell, Sean (2009) Fiery Dragons: Banks, Moneylenders and Microfinnance in Burma. (NAIS Press). ISBN  9788776940409

External links