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RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, Singapore
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United Overseas Bank to beef up private banking unit

The lender seeks to add its private bankers to 200 by 2016 from more than 40 at present to tap Singapore’s growing ultra-rich population.

Singapore lender United Overseas Bank said it plans to grow its private banking arm to tap the growing number of wealthy individuals in Singapore and the region.

UOB, the city-state's third largest banking group by assets, intends to increase the number of its private bankers to about 200 by 2016 from more than 40 currently, a spokeswoman said, confirming a report in the Straits Times newspaper on Tuesday.

UOB also hopes to grow its private bank's earnings asset base -- which is assets under management plus loans to clients -- to S$50-S$60 billion over the next five years from more than S$10 billion ($8.2 billion).

Merrill Lynch and Capgemini said in a report that there were 3.3 million people in Asia with investible assets of more than $1 million last year, up 9.7 percent over 2009.

View the full story in Reuters.

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