United Overseas Bank soars at the ABF Retail Banking Awards 2022
The bank bagged five major awards for their business projects and initiatives.
Multinational banking corporation United Overseas Bank (UOB) has been recognised at the ABF Retail Banking Awards 2022 for its stellar performance in the past year, winning a total of five major awards for the prestigious awards programme.
UOB has won the Domestic Retail Bank of the Year - Singapore, Banking for Women Initiative of the Year - Singapore, ESG Programme of the Year - Silver, Mobile Banking & Payment Initiative of the Year - Singapore, and Wealth Management Platform of the Year - Singapore awards.
The recognition comes amidst strong numbers in what was an unpredictable year, with the company’s gross revenue remaining robust at S$2b with significant growth – 7% CASA growth, 28% new mortgage sales growth, and 31% growth in investment income. This growth is despite compressed net interest margins from 1.77% in 2020 to 1.64% in 2021, brought upon by a challenging low-interest rate environment.
UOB also continues to strengthen its customer value proposition and focus on omnichannel strategies.
In 2021, the bank launched the UOB Absolute Cashback Card, which offers the highest cashback of 1.7% in Singapore with no cap and no spend exclusions. It also brought together the innovation of its digital bank, TMRW, with the scale and product depth of its mobile app, UOB Mighty, on one unified platform—UOB TMRW.
UOB’s omnichannel strategies, which aimed to capture customers through both digital capabilities and a strong physical network presence, have allowed the bank to foster deeper relationships and develop a more engaged customer base. This has been exemplified by its digitally-engaged customers now making up a majority of its customer base, of which 29% are customers served via omnichannel.
The UOB TMRW platform serves over 3.5 million digital customers in Southeast Asia, with TMRW being maximised heavily to scale key initiatives, such as UOB Rewards+ and SimpleInvest.
The bank introduced UOB Rewards+, Singapore’s biggest card rewards programme, to leverage the current economic situation and the omnichannel strategy, as well as the change in preferences and consumption behaviours. Through this personalised programme, customers can search for deals, track cashback and rewards points, as well as redeem their rewards, all in one app.
Meanwhile, SimpleInvest strives to give investors simply more than just another digital wealth platform.
Its value proposition gives customers more convenience, as the investment process is integrated with existing banking services, wherein customers’ investment accounts are automatically tagged to their UOB banking account.
SimpleInvest also provides more focus, with the investment decision-making starting point. This helps investors decide on the right choice that suit their needs best as they choose from three expertly crafted portfolios or build their own portfolio from a curated list of over 100 unit trusts.
At the same time, it gives more balance as customers may still deliberate if the products proposed to them suit their investment needs and objectives. They can always reach out for personal, human assistance whenever they need to, with their customer service hotlines operating 24/7 and their branches open to serve both online and offline customers.
UOB Women’s Segment
UOB also recognises that women’s lifestyles and financial needs evolve over time as their roles also expand. To support this, UOB continues to innovate and develop financial solutions that cater to the multi-faceted women of today whilst respecting their individuality.
Its UOB Lady’s Card and Lady’s Savings Account were designed and birthed as part of its commitment towards supporting the goals and aspirations of women who do it all. These progressive solutions provide women with the freedom of choice to define their own rewards and get the added protection they need. UOB is also the first bank in Singapore that provides an all-encompassing financial proposition of Save, Protect, and Transact exclusively for women.
Moreover, the bank partnered with CNA Lifestyle Women—a brand new vertical focusing on female voices and interests—and launched a 13-part series to empower and educate women on financial literacy.
The series explored the multi-faceted relationship women have with money and how they can tap into various tools and solutions to support them across different life stages and as they don different hats. It covered topics from budgeting, savings and protection, and home ownership, to investment, and spoke directly to women and their lifestyles.
This generated nearly 10 million impressions on display banners, more than 350,000 page views across articles, and a 20% jump in UOB site landings throughout the partnership.
Forging a sustainable future
In 2020, UOB launched the Personal Financial Services Division’s Sustainability Programme which provides retail customers with simple and accessible ways to make a positive impact as they invest, spend, borrow, and live their daily lives.
The bank noted that as ESG was relatively new in the region back then, it decided the most powerful way to attract our clients’ attention was to demonstrate how sustainability could help them do good for the world whilst also doing well with their wealth holdings.
UOB’s sustainable investing solutions span across multiple asset classes, encompassing unit trusts, bonds, and structured products, to give investors more options to incorporate ESG wealth solutions into their portfolios.
Moreover, its Go Green Car Loan allows customers to finance electric vehicles or hybrid vehicles at attractive interest rates, whilst its Go Green Home Loan helps customers finance the purchase of homes that have been awarded the Building and Construction Authority Green Mark.
Beyond offering its clients sustainable solutions, the bank also invested in upskilling its people with ESG training to equip them with the knowledge to embed sustainability into the way they work and serve clients.