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RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

UOB partners with coworking operators to offer rental discount to startups and SMEs

The discounts will cover 33 coworking spaces owned by five Southeast Asian firms.

United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) signed a deal with four Southeast Asian coworking firms to offer its startup and SME customers up to 20% rental discount at any of their spaces.

According to an announcement, UOB has signed memoranda of understanding with EV Hive (Indonesia), Common Ground (Malaysia), WORQ (Malaysia), and 80RR Fintech Hub SG (Singapore). These tie-ups add to UOB’s existing partnership with Toong in Vietnam, making up a total of 33 coworking spaces located around the region including Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

UOB said this initiative addresses one of the top constraints to businesses’ cross-border expansion – managing the set-up costs associated with expanding overseas.

UOB head of group channels and digitalisation Janet Young said, “More than half of SMEs have plans to expand in the region over the next three years. However, factors such as cost and difficulty in finding suitable local partners are a concern to them. By using coworking spaces offered by our network of partners, our customers will be able to set up their operations in a new market in a fast, flexible and cost-effective way.”

Following UOB’s tie-up with Toong last year, the bank connected BlackTree Limited, a venture capital and private equity firm, to Toong’s coworking spaces in Vietnam.  

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